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Keywords:

  • Rhodococcus sp.;
  • Adhesion;
  • Hydrophobic interface;
  • Polysaccharide

Abstract A Rhodococcus strain possessing a capsule, but no fimbriae, was isolated from pond water by adsorption to Teflon. The strain was hydrophobic, as shown by partitioning between dodecane and buffer. A high emulsifying activity was found in the culture supernatant, from which a polysaccharide was isolated. This contained glucuronic acid, glucose, galactose and rhamnose in a molecular ratio of 1:1:1:2. One acetate residue was found per repeating unit. The polysaccharide molecules formed clusters, which disaggregated on the addition of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). Rabbit antibodies against this polysaccharide aggregated the bacterial cells. Thus, it can be concluded that this polysaccharide at least contributes to the cell surface hydrophobicity, thereby mediating in the adsorption of cells to inert hydrophobic surfaces.