Predation on Bacteria Possessing S-Layers

  • Susan F. Koval
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 252)


Bacteria in many habitats — terrestrial or aquatic (marine or freshwater) -are likely to find themselves in the company of potential predators. Bdellovibrio spp. are gram-negative eubacteria that are predacious upon other gram-negative eubacteria. Free-living phagotrophic protozoa are an important part of the microbial food cycle because they graze (feed) upon smaller protozoa and bacteria. It is important to ask if paracrystalline protein surface arrays (S-layers) serve as a protective barrier against predation by Bdellovibrio or protozoa. Specific descriptions of bacterial S-layers often postulate functions but these are rarely tested. Studies involving predation provide an excellent opportunity to experimentally assay a specific function. The abundance of S-layers in nature indicates that they must fulfil vital selective functions.


Food Vacuole Ciliated Protozoan Caulobacter Crescentus Prey Cell Protozoan Grazing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan F. Koval
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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