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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of direct electric current on the cell surface properties of phenol-degrading bacteria.

The change in cell surface properties in the presence of electric currents is of critical concern when the potential to manipulate bacterial movement with electric fields is evaluated. In this study, the effects of different direct electric currents on the cell surface properties involved in bacterial adhesion were investigated by using a mixed phenol-degrading bacterial culture in the exponential growth phase. The traits investigated were surface hydrophobicity (measured by adherence to n-octane), net surface electrostatic charge (determined by measurement of the zeta potential), and the cell surface shape and polymers (determined by scanning electron microscope analysis). The results showed that a lower current (less than 20 mA) induced no significant changes in the surface properties of phenol-degrading bacteria, that an electric current of 20 mA could increase the surface hydrophobicity and flatten the cell shape, and that a higher current (40 mA) could increase the surface extracellular substances and the net negative surface electrostatic charge. The results also revealed that the electric current effects on cell hydrophobicity varied with the suspending medium. We suggest that an electric current greater than 20 mA is not suitable for use in manipulation of the movement of the phenol-degrading bacteria, although such a current might favor the electrophoretic movement of the bacterial species.[1]


  1. Effect of direct electric current on the cell surface properties of phenol-degrading bacteria. Luo, Q., Wang, H., Zhang, X., Qian, Y. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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