Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

R/MP-01

Bacterial inhibitors of adhesion of marine biofilm bacteria

Principal Investigator: 

Robert P. Burchard

Start/End Year: 

1992 to 1997

Institution: 

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Description: 

The proposed research is designed to characterize an inhibitor of adhesion of marine, estuarine and freshwater biofilm bacteria. The inhibitor is produced by a marine gliding bacterium. The biological spectrum of adhesion inhibitory activity and the inhibitor's effects on the dynamics of biofilm formation on substrata differing in critical surface energy will be determined. Other marine and estuarine biofilm bacteria will be screened for the production of inhibitors of adhesion. AIF is a high molecular weight complex of polypeptides and glycoproteins. If one subunit of the AIF complex is responsible for inhibition of colony expansion and adhesion, it can be cloned and over-produced. AIF or a subunit can be immobilized on or in a substratum so as to maintain it anti-adhesion activity. AIF production increases the fitness of RB1057, the producing organism, in competition for colonization sites on substrata. Other inhibitors or bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation can be isolated from biofilm bacteria. A biological inhibitor of adhesion of marine and estuarine biofilm bacteria will be further purified and characterized. This high molecular weight complex of polypeptides and "glycoprotein" that is an extracellular product of a marine gliding bacterium will be further purified and characterized. Functional specialization of its subunits will be investigated. Its adhesion inhibitory activity against selected strains of biofilm bacteria on diverse substrata will be explored.