Time of Flight-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) was used to study compositional characteristics of Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS) and compared these to characteristics of the EPS-matrix of intact diatom biofilms. Three benthic diatoms species were investigated, Cylindrotheca closterium, Navicula mutica and Nitzschia cf. brevissima. Comparison of the ToF-SIMS spectra of sequentially extracted EPS-fractions by cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling analysis (MDS) indicated that soluble and bound EPS were not distinguishable based on their ion spectra. On the contrary the water insoluble bicarbonate soluble (WIBS)-EPS-fraction formed a distinct cluster showing that this material was compositionally different from the other EPS-fractions. Ion spectra of the EPS-fractions were dissimilar to results obtained from intact biofilms. This suggested that during the extraction procedure, the structure of the EPS irreversibly changed, which alters the fragmentation patterns of the extracellular surface layer. Furthermore, from the examination of the positive ion spectra it was shown that the overall composition of EPS in the intact biofilms was different between diatom species. In spite of these differences, several common peak patterns were shared between different species. This suggests the presence of common structural components in the EPS of these diatoms that may play a role in building the surface EPS-layer. [KEYWORDS: ToF-SIMS ; Benthic diatoms ; Extracellular polymeric substances ; EPS ; Biofilm]
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Journal publication date2006

ID: 399985