Analysis of Methods for the Quantitative Recovery of Bacteria Sorbed onto Marine Sediments

    Published: Jan 1979

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    Adsorption and desorption studies using both motile and nonmotile bacterial strains were performed with sedimentary sludge, clay, and sand in order to determine the most reproducible means for the recovery of viable bacteria from particles. The organisms used were Flavobacterium oceanosedimentum, Aeromonas proteolytica, and Escherichia coli, EPA 104. Viable cell numbers were determined using surface spread plate counts, direct counts via epifluorescence microscopy, and adenosine triphosphate analysis (ATP). Adsorption of the organisms onto sedimentary materials obtained from the New York Bight followed the Langmuir adsorption isotherm regardless of the length of time the cultures were in contact with the sediment. This implies that the initial events in the attachment of both nonmotile and motile bacteria to these types of sediment are primarily due to physical chemical forces. Desorption studies employed acidic, neutral, and basic surface-active agents; acid and basic pH treatments; osmotic shock; and peptone-water treatments. Physical manipulation of the sediment via shaking or agitation in the presence of 0.00001 percent cetyl trimethylammonium bromide appears to be the most effective and least toxic procedure for the recovery of viable microorganisms.


    sediments, marine, bacteria, sorption, desorption

    Author Information:

    Scheraga, M
    Research assistant, graduate assistant, and associate,

    Meskill, M
    Research assistant, graduate assistant, and associate,

    Litchfield, CD
    Research assistant, graduate assistant, and associate,

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP38138S

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