Flagella-mediated differences in deposition dynamics for Azotobacter vinelandii in porous media

Nanxi Lu, Tara Bevard, Arash Massoudieh, Changyong Zhang, Alice C. Dohnalkova, Julie L. Zilles, Thanh H. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A multiscale approach was designed to study the effects of flagella on deposition dynamics of Azotobacter vinelandii in porous media, independent of motility. In a radial stagnation point flow cell (RSPF), the deposition rate of a flagellated strain with limited motility, DJ77, was higher than that of a nonflagellated (Fla-) strain on quartz. In contrast, Fla- strain deposition exceeded that of DJ77 in two-dimensional silicon microfluidic models (micromodels) and in columns packed with glass beads. Both micromodel and column experiments showed decreasing deposition over time, suggesting that approaching cells were blocked from deposition by previously deposited cells. Modeling results showed that blocking became effective for DJ77 strain at lower ionic strengths (1 mM and 10 mM), while for the Fla- strain, blocking was similar at all ionic strengths. In late stages of micromodel experiments, ripening effects were also observed, and these appeared earlier for the Fla - strain. In RSPF and column experiments, deposition of the flagellated strain was influenced by ionic strength, while ionic strength dependence was not observed for the Fla- strain. The observations in all three setups suggested flagella affect deposition dynamics and, in particular, result in greater sensitivity to ionic strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5162-5170
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 21 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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