Summary: The toxic effect of root flavolan towards fast-growing strains NZP2037 and NZP2213 was found to depend on the growth phase of the cells. Exponential-phase (24 h) cells of NZP2037 were more resistant to the flavolan and were able to bind three times more flavolan than exponential phase cells of NZP2213. Stationary-phase (72 h) cells of both strains were equally sensitive to the flavolan. The initial —flavolan interaction was bacteriostatic; this lasted for 4 to 5 h for stationary-phase cells of both strains and for exponential-phase cells of NZP2213, but for approximately 10 h for exponential-phase cells of NZP2037. During this period flavolan bound to the surface of the cells causing aggregation of outer cell membrane components. Subsequently the cells became irregularly shaped and non-viable. sensitivity to flavolan was not related to extracellular polysaccharide production or composition. Polyethylene glycol overcame the inhibitory effects of flavolan towards exponential-phase NZP2213 cells if added before or at the same time as the flavolan.


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