Bacteria with natural chemotaxis towards methanol revealed by chemotaxis fishing technique

Yosef Hamba Tola, Yoshiko Fujitani, Akio Tani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Motile bacteria often exhibit chemotaxis toward favorable compounds. However, the diversity of bacteria that are attracted to a given substance is largely unknown. This study aimed to reveal the diversity of bacteria with natural chemotaxis towards methanol. We tried to enrich environmental chemotactic bacteria using a glass capillary that is half-filled with methanol solidified with agarose as a trap (“chemotaxis fishing”). The pilot experiment using methanol-chemotactic Methylobacterium aquaticum strain 22A enriched the cells by 46-fold. The method was then applied to bacterial suspensions from paddy water and plants. Depending on the isolation sources and the methods of motility induction, methylotrophic bacteria were enriched 1.2–330-fold. The fished isolates belong to 32 species in 18 genera, mainly containing Acinetobacter, Methylobacterium and Pseudomonas species. Our chemotaxis fishing unveiled a part of diversity of the bacteria with natural chemotaxis towards methanol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2163-2171
Number of pages9
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Chemotaxis
  • Methanol
  • Methylobacterium
  • Plant-associated bacteria
  • Whole-cell MALDI-TOF/MS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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