Screening of Marine Bacteria for the Production of Microbial Repellents Using a Spectrophotometric Chemotaxis Assay
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A method for screening marine bacteria for the production of microbial repellents has been developed. The spectrophotometer provided quantitative information on bacterial chemotaxis in response to extracts from other strains of marine bacteria. Aqueous extracts were incorporated into an agar plug at the base of a cuvette, which was overlaid with a suspension of a motile strain. Negative chemotaxis of the motile strain in response to diffusion of repellent compounds from the agar could be measured by a fall in the optical density, allowing the direct screening of supernatants for repellent activity. Three strains producing metabolites with a repellent effect on a motile marine bacterium were identified. Antibiotic activity and the repellent effect of the supernatants were compared, with no significant correlation being found. The screening method will therefore allow the identification of bioactive metabolites that would be overlooked using traditional antibiotic screening strategies.
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