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Microbially Induced Iron Oxidation: What, Where, How

Description: From the results of the different bacterial cells seen, it is fairly certain that Gallionella is present because of the bean-shaped cells and twisted stalks found with the TEM. The authors cannot confirm, though, what other iron-oxidizing genera exist in the tubes, since the media was only preferential and not one that isolated a specific genus of bacteria. Based on the environment in which they live and the source of the water, they believe their cultures contain Gallionella, Leptothrix, and possibly Crenothrix and Sphaerotilus. They believe the genus Leptothrix rather than Sphaerotilus exist in the tubes because the water source was fresh, unlike the polluted water in which Sphaerotilus are usually found. The TEM preparations worked well. The cryogenic method rapidly froze the cells in place and allowed them to view their morphology. The FAA method, as stated previously, was the best of the three methods because it gave the best contrast. The gluteraldehyde samples did not come out as well. It is possible that the gluteraldehyde the authors prepared was still too concentrated and did not mix well. Although these bacteria were collected from springs and then cultured in an environment containing a presumably pure iron-bearing metal, it seems the tube already containing Manganese Gradient Medium could be used with a piece of metal containing these bacteria. A small piece of corroding metal could then be inserted into the test tube and cultured to study the bacteria.
Date: August 15, 2000
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