Microbial Ecology

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 726–735 | Cite as

High-Throughput Quantitative Measurement of Bacterial Attachment Kinetics on Seconds Time Scale

  • N. ShteindelEmail author
  • D. Yankelev
  • Y. Gerchman


Surface attachment is an important factor in the life of many microbial species. Late stages of attachment (i.e., mature biofilms) are rigorously studied, but data on the very early stages is scarce. The lack of robust research methods may go a long way in explaining this situation. We have developed a method that allows the rapid kinetic measurement of bacterial attachment, with seconds to minute’s temporal resolution, in a high-throughput setting. The method requires the use of a commercially available microtiter plate reader capable of fluorescence measurement from the bottom, standard microtiter plates, fluorescently tagged bacteria, and a common dye. The high temporal resolution reveals nuanced, fast, and dynamic behaviors in the very early phases of attachment. To demonstrate potential applications, we tested the effect of various conditions on attachment kinetics—specie, substratum, salt concentration, and culture density. Results are in good agreement with crystal violet staining (correlation R2 > 0.95 in all cases) and reproducing published data but show much greater detail and fidelity.


Bacterial attachment Kinetic measurement High throughput Method 



We would like to thank Professor Ehud Banin of the Bar-ilan University for the Pseudomonas aeruginosa culture and plasmid, Professor Iris Yedidya of the Hebrew University for the Pectobacterium carotovorum culture and plasmid, and Professor Sascha Krenek of the Dresden Institute of Hydrobiology, Germany, for the YFP tagged Pseudomonas putida culture. We would also like to thank Professor Malka Halpern of the Haifa University for her helpful suggestions and correction of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Evolutionary and Environmental BiologyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Physics of Complex SystemsWeizmann InstituteRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.Biology and EnvironmentUniversity of Haifa-OranimKiryat TivonIsrael

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