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Science. 1995 May 19;268(5213):1060-4.

Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber.

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  • 1Biological Sciences, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 93407, USA.

Erratum in

  • Science 1995 Jun 2;268(5215):1265.


A bacterial spore was revived, cultured, and identified from the abdominal contents of extinct bees preserved for 25 to 40 million years in buried Dominican amber. Rigorous surface decontamination of the amber and aseptic procedures were used during the recovery of the bacterium. Several lines of evidence indicated that the isolated bacterium was of ancient origin and not an extant contaminant. The characteristic enzymatic, biochemical, and 16S ribosomal DNA profiles indicated that the ancient bacterium is most closely related to extant Bacillus sphaericus.

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