Measurement of predation and biofilm formation under different ambient oxygen conditions using a simple gasbag-based system

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Daniel Kadouri, Aimy Tran


Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and Micavibrio aeruginosavorus are Gram-negative bacteria characterized by predatory behavior. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of the predators to prey in different oxygen environments. When placed on an orbital shaker, a positive association between the rate of aeration and predation was observed. To further examine the effects of elevated ambient oxygen levels on predation, a simple gasbag system was developed. Using the system, we were able to conduct experiments at ambient oxygen levels of 3% to 86%. When placed in gasbags and inflated with air, 50% O2, and 100% O2, positive predation was seen on both planktonic and biofilm-grown prey cells. However, in low-oxygen environments, predatory bacteria were able to attack only prey cells grown as biofilms. To further evaluate the gasbag system, biofilm development of Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms was also measured. Although the gasbag system was found to be suitable for culturing bacteria that require a low-oxygen environment, it was not capable of supporting, with its current configuration, the growth of obligate anaerobes in liquid or agar medium.


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