Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 126, Issue 3–4, pp 223–238 | Cite as

Survival and Plasmid Transfer Ability of Escherichia Coli in Wastewater



No differences were observed in the survival of plasmid-bearingand plasmid-free Escherichia coli strains in the course of a long-term survival process in wastewater, under both illuminated and non-illuminated conditions. While the CFU counts and the number of active cells decreased, the numberof nucleoid-containing cells remained constant throughout the 30 days of experimentation. Visible light efficiently contributed to the reduction in culturability, and T90 values were very different under illuminated and nonilluminatedconditions. In the latter case the time necessary to reduce theculturability of a bacterial population by 90% was 27 days, while in the former it was only 1 day. Plasmid transfer was abundant, while the survival of donor and recipient cells was extensive. After 24 hr of survival in wastewater, transfer frequency values ranged from 5.92 × 10-5 to 1.12 × 10-2, depending on mating conditions. In the absence of illumination, the potential transfer abilitiesremained for survival periods of at least 20 days. Transfer assays between free and adhered cells were carried out by means of dialysis bags and submerged membrane diffusion chambers. Transfer frequency for adhered cells was greater than for free cells (2.80 × 10-2 as opposed to 2.39 × 10-3).

Escherichia coli light plasmid transfer survival wastewater 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altherr, M. R. and Kasweck, K. L.: 1982, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 44, 838.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Arana, I., Justo, J. I., Muela, A., Pocino, M., Iriberri, J. and Barcina, I.: 1997a, Microb. Ecol. 33, 41.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Arana, I., Pocino, M., Muela, A., Fernández-Astorga, A. and Barcina, I.: 1997b, J. Appl. Microbiol. 83, 340.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Araujo, M. A. V., Mendoç a-Hagler, L. C., Hagler, A. N. and van Elsas, J. D.: 1994, Microb. Ecol. 13, 205.Google Scholar
  5. Armstrong, J. L., Calomiris, J. J. and Sleider, R. J.: 1982, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 44, 308.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Arturo-Schaan, M., Tamanai-Shacoori, Z. and Cormier, M.: 1995, Wat. Sci. Tech. 31, 199.Google Scholar
  7. Bale, M. J., Fry, J. C. and Day, M. J.: 1987, J. Gen. Microbiol. 133, 3099.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Barcina, I., González, J. M., Iriberri, J. and Egea, L.: 1989, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 55, 246.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Barcina, I., González, J. M., Iriberri, J. and Egea, L.: 1990, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 68, 189.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Barcina, I., Arana, I., Fernández-Astorga, A., Iriberri, J. and Egea, L.: 1992, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 73, 229.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Barcina, I., Arana, I., Santorum, P., Iriberri, J. and Egea, L.: 1995, J. Microbiol. Methods 22, 139.Google Scholar
  12. Barcina, I., Lebaron, P. and Vives-Rego, J.: 1997, FEMS Microb. Ecol. 23, 1.Google Scholar
  13. Bell, J. B., McRae, W. R. and Elliott, G. E.: 1981, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 42, 204.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Bell, J. B., Elliott, G. E. and Smith, D. W.: 1983, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 46, 227.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Bradley, D. E., Taylor, D. E. and Cohen, D. R.: 1980, J. Bacteriol. 143, 1466.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Cruz-Cruz, N. E., Toranzos, G. A., Ahearn, D. G. and Hazen, T. C.: 1988, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 54, 2574.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Davies, C. M. and Evison, L. M.: 1991, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 70, 265.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Devanas, M. A., Rafaeli-Eskhol, D. and Stotzky, V.: 1986, Curr. Microbiol. 13, 269.Google Scholar
  19. Fernández-Astorga, A., Fernández de Aranguiz, A., Pocino, M., Umaran, A. and Cisterna, R.: 1992a, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 72, 381.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Fernández-Astorga, A., Muela, A., Cisterna, R., Iriberri, J. and Barcina, I.: 1992b, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 58, 392.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Freter, R.: 1984, in M. J. Klug and Reddy C. A. (eds), Current Perspectives in Microbial Ecology, American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, p. 105.Google Scholar
  22. Fujita, M., Ike, M. and Suzuki, H.: 1993, Wat. Res. 27, 949.Google Scholar
  23. Gourmelon, M., Cillard, J. and Pommepuy, M.: 1994, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 77, 105.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Grabow, W. O. K., van Zyl, M. and Prozesky, O. W.: 1976, Wat. Res. 10, 717.Google Scholar
  25. Hassani, L., Imziln, B. and Gauthier, M. J.: 1992, Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 15, 228.Google Scholar
  26. Hobbie, J. E., Daley, R. J. and Jasper, S.: 1977, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 33, 1225.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Lebaron, P., Roux, V., Lett, M. C. and Baleux, B.: 1993, Microb. Releases 2, 127.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. MacDonald, J. A., Smets, B. F. and Rice, V. E.: 1992, Wat. Res. 26, 461.Google Scholar
  29. Mach, P. A. and Grimes, D. J.: 1982, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 44, 1395.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Meckes, M. C.: 1982, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 43: 371.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Mezrioui, N. and Baleux, B.: 1994, Wat. Res. 28: 2399.Google Scholar
  32. Mezrioui, N. and Echab, K.: 1995, World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 11, 287.Google Scholar
  33. Mezrioui, N. and Oufdou, Kh.: 1996, FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 21, 277.Google Scholar
  34. Moriñ igo, M. A., Cornax, R., Castro, D., Jiménez-Notaro, M., Romero, P. and Borrego, J. J.: 1990, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 68, 297.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Muela, A., Pocino, M., Arana, I., Justo, J. I., Iriberri, J. and Barcina, I.: 1994, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60, 4273.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Muela, A., Arana, I., Justo, J. I., Seco, C. and Barcina, I.: 1999, Microb. Ecol. 37, 62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Murray, G. S., Tobin, R. S., Junkins, B. and Kushner, D. J.: 1984, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 48, 73.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Nybroe, O.: 1995, FEMS Microb. Ecol. 17, 77.Google Scholar
  39. O'Morchoe, S. B., Ogunseitan, O., Sayler, G. S. and Miller, R. V.: 1988, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 54, 1923.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Qureshi, A. A. and Qureshi, M. A.: 1992, Wat. Air Soil Pollut. 61, 47.Google Scholar
  41. Walter, M. W. and Vennes, J. W.: 1985, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 50, 930.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Inmunología, Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad del País VascoBilbaoSpain

Personalised recommendations