Aggregation Rates of Sediments (Montmorillonite, Kaolinite, Illite and Goethite) with the Enveloped Φ6 Bacteriophage

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Al Katz1, Karin A Block2, Stephanie Peña2, Alexandra Alimova2 and Paul Gottlieb2, (1)CUNY City College, New York, NY, United States, (2)City College of New York, New York, NY, United States
The interaction between sediments and viruses has been studied extensively from the prospective of virus survivability and infectivity. However, the role of soil organisms, including viruses in C and N sequestration in soil has not been studied as extensively. Φ6, a member of the cystoviridae family, is a bacteriophage that infects Pseudomonas syringae, a common plant pathogen known to readily form biofilms.

The small mineral fraction (< 0.2 μm) of soil and Φ6 are colloidal particles, therefore aggregation can be explained by DLVO (Derjaguin & Landau, Verwey & Overbeek) theory. Time-resolved visible-light turbidity measurements were used to calculate the heteroaggregation rates of Φ6 with the sediments. Samples were suspended in a low-concentration cation buffer so that the kinetics were in the reaction limited cluster aggregation (RLCA) regime in where the probability of two particles adhering after collision is determined by the interaction forces between the particles.

At neutral pH to slightly acidic pH, Φ6 is slightly negatively charged; montmorillonite and illite are negatively charged; and kaolinite and goethite are positively charged. In isolation, neither Φ6 nor the sediments aggregated in the modified buffer. However, in mixtures, Φ6 and montmorillonite, and Φ6 and illite, exhibited increases in turbidity, indicating heteroaggregation. Neither Φ6 and kaolinite, nor Φ6 and goethite, exhibited increased turbidity upon mixing indicating little or no aggregation. These results suggest that the interaction of the virus with the sediments is governed by hydrophobic rather than electrostatic forces. Heteroaggregation rates were calculated from the time rate of change of the turbidity.