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The changes of cell surface hydrophilicity in Bacillus subtilis were analyzed in response to oxygen-limitation, heat shock, salt stress, pH-shock, phosphate- and carbon-limitation.  Although cell surface hydrophilicity varied during growth phases, an increase of surface hydrophilicity was observed under several of these stress conditions.  An observed drop in intracellular GTP and/or ATP may be an element of the signal transduction pathway leading to an increase in surface hydrophilicity in response to environmental stresses.  Attachment of cells to soil particles under salt stress conditions is strongly influenced by the degS/degU two-component system, which thereby provides a mechanism for the bacteria to escape from the hostile environment.

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