SUMMARY: The effect of phenotypic variation on attachment of and to mycelium was investigated. Quantitative studies demonstrated the ability of each isolate to attach rapidly and firmly to mycelium and significant differences in attachment of wild-type and phenotypic variant strains were observed. This was most pronounced in , where the percentage attachment of the wild-type form was always greater than that of the phenotypic variant. The medium upon which the bacteria were cultured, prior to conducting an attachment assay, had a significant effect on their ability to attach. Attachment of the wild-type form of was enhanced when the assay was performed in the presence of CaCl, suggesting the involvement of electrostatic forces. No correlation was observed between bacterial hydrophobicity and ability to attach to mycelium. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the results obtained from the quantitative studies and provided further evidence for marked differences in the ability of the pseudomonads to attach to mycelium. Fibrillar structures and amorphous material were frequently associated with attached cells and appeared to anchor bacteria to each other and to the hyphal surface. A time-course study of attachment using transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of uneven fibrillar material on the surface of cells. This material stained positive for polysaccharide and may be involved in ensuring rapid, firm attachment of the cells.


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