Bismuth dimercaptopropanol (BisBAL) inhibits the expression of extracellular polysaccharides and proteins by Brevundimonas diminuta: implications for membrane microfiltration. Academic Article uri icon


  • A 2:1 molar ratio preparation of bismuth with a lipophilic dithiol (3-dimercapto-1-propanol, BAL) significantly reduced extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) expression by Brevundimonas diminuta in suspended cultures at levels just below the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Total polysaccharides and proteins secreted by B. diminuta decreased by approximately 95% over a 5-day period when exposed to the bismuth-BAL chelate (BisBAL) at near MIC (12 microM). Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) suggested that a possible mechanism of biofilm disruption by BisBAL is the inhibition of carbohydrate O-acetylation. FTIR also revealed extensive homology between EPS samples with and without BisBAL treatment, with proteins, polysaccharides, and peptides varying predominantly only in the amount expressed. EPS secretion decreased following BisBAL treatment as verified by atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Without BisBAL treatment, a slime-like EPS matrix secreted by B. diminuta resulted in biofouling and inefficient hydrodynamic backwashing of microfiltration membranes.

published proceedings

  • Biotechnol Bioeng

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Badireddy, A. R., Chellam, S., Yanina, S., Gassman, P., & Rosso, K. M.

citation count

  • 52

complete list of authors

  • Badireddy, Appala Raju||Chellam, Shankararaman||Yanina, Svetlana||Gassman, Paul||Rosso, Kevin M

publication date

  • February 2008