Author(s): Rosenberg M, Bayer EA, Delarea J, Rosenberg E
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Abstract Acinetobacter calcoaceticus RAG-1, a hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium which adheres avidly to hydrocarbons and other hydrophobic surfaces, possesses numerous thin fimbriae (ca. 3.5-nm diameter) on the cell surface. MR-481, a nonadherent mutant of RAG-1 which is unable to grow on hexadecane under conditions of limited emulsification and low initial cell density, lacks these fimbriae. Prolonged incubation of MR-481 in hexadecane medium enriched for partial adherence revertants. The reappearance of thin fimbriae was observed in all such revertant strains. RAG-1 cells and partial revertant strains were agglutinated in the presence of antibody, whereas MR-481 cells were not. Another mutant, AB15, which was previously isolated on the basis of its nonagglutinability in the presence of antibody, also lacked thin fimbriae and was conditionally nonadherent. Furthermore, strain AB15 was unable to grow on hexadecane medium. Adherence of RAG-1 cells to hexadecane was considerably reduced after shearing treatment. The material removed from the cell surface by shearing of RAG-1 and the partial revertant strains yielded a single antigenic band in RAG-1 and partial revertant strains, as observed by crossed immunoelectrophoresis. This band was absent in both fimbriae-less mutants, MR-481 and AB15. The data demonstrate that the thin fimbriae of RAG-1 (i) are a major factor in adherence to polystyrene and hydrocarbon, (ii) may be crucial in enabling growth of cells on hexadecane, and (iii) constitute the major cell surface agglutinogen.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Industrial Engineering & Management