International Microbiology, Vol 9, No 1 (2006)

ATP level variations in heterotrophic bacteria during attachment on hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces

Elena P. Ivanova, Yulia V. Alexeeva, Duy K. Pham, Jonathan P. Wright, Dan V. Nicolau


A survey of the extracellular ATP levels of 86 heterotrophic bacteria showed that gram-negative bacteria of the genera Sulfitobacter, Staleya, and Marinobacter secreted elevated amounts of extracellular ATP, ranging from 6.0 to 9.8 pM ATP/colony forming unit (cfu), and that gram-positive bacteria of the genera Kocuria and Planococcus secreted up to 4.1 pM ATP/cfu. Variations in the levels of extracellular and intracellular ATP-dependent luminescence were monitored in living cells of Sulfitobacter mediterraneus ATCC 700856T and Planococcus maritimus F 90 during 48 h of attachment on hydrophobic (poly[tert-butyl methacrylate], PtBMA) and hydrophilic (mica) surfaces. The bacteria responded to different polymeric surfaces by producing either intracellular or extracellular ATP. The level of intracellular ATP in S. mediterraneus ATCC 700856T attached to either surface was as high as 50–55 pM ATP/cfu, while in P. maritimus F 90 it was 120 and 250 pM ATP/cfu on PtBMA and mica, respectively. S. mediterraneus ATCC 700856T generated about 20 and 50 pM of extracellular ATP/cfu on PtBMA and mica, respectively, while the amount generated by P. maritimus F 90 was about the same for both surfaces, 6 pM ATP/cfu. The levels of extracellular ATP generated by S. mediterraneus during attachment on PtBMA and mica were two to five times higher than those detected during the initial screening. High-resolution atomic force microscopy imaging revealed a potentially interesting correlation between the porous cell-surface of certain (α- and γ-proteobacteria and their ability to secrete high amounts of ATP. [Int Microbiol 2006; 9(1):37-46]

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