Phenotypic switching of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans.

J. A. Schrader, D. S. Holmes

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Two solid medium formulations, designated 100:10 and 10:10, were developed for the growth of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. The new media contain a mixture of both ferrous iron and thiosulfate as available energy sources, permitting the detection of colony morphology variants that arise spontaneously in a wild-type population. Several morphological and physiological characteristics of a class of T. ferrooxidans variants, termed LSC for large spreading colony, are described. LSC variants lack the ability to oxidize iron but retain the capacity to utilize thiosulfate or tetrathionate as energy sources. An LSC colony spreads on the surface of solid 100:10 medium as a monolayer of cells in a fashion resembling that of certain swarming or gliding bacteria. The LSC variant reverts to a parental wild type at frequencies that vary in different independently arising isolates. The identity of the LSC variant as a derivative of the parental wild-type T. ferrooxidans was established by Southern blot hybridization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3915-3923
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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