Summary: The sorption of two marine bacteria to surfaces involved an instantaneous phase, and a time-dependent phase. Reversible sorption of the non-motile strain R8 decreased to zero as the electrolyte concentration decreased, or as the thickness of the electrical double-layer increased. The electrolyte concentration at which all bacteria were repelled from the glass surface depended on the valency of the cation. The reversible phase is interpreted in terms of the balance between the electrical double-layer repulsion energies at different electrolyte concentrations and the van der Waals attractive energies. Even at the electrolyte concentration of seawater, the bacteria probably are held at a small distance from the glass surface by a repulsion barrier. Reversible sorption often led to rotational motion of the motile sp. strain R3 at a liquid-glass interface.

Pseudomonas R3 produced polymeric fibrils in artificial seawater; these may be concerned in the irreversible sorption of the bacteria to surfaces. Sorption and polymer production were stimulated by 7 mg./l. glucose but higher levels inhibited irreversible sorption. Omission of Ca and Mg from the artificial seawater prevented growth, polymer production, and sorption to surfaces by Pseudomonas R3.


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