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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Aug;65(8):3526-33.

Culturable populations of Sporomusa spp. and Desulfovibrio spp. in the anoxic bulk soil of flooded rice microcosms.

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Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, D-35043 Marburg, Germany.


Most-probable-number (MPN) counts were made of homoacetogenic and other bacteria present in the anoxic flooded bulk soil of laboratory microcosms containing 90- to 95-day-old rice plants. MPN counts with substrates known to be useful for the selective enrichment or the cultivation of homoacetogenic bacteria (betaine, ethylene glycol, 2, 3-butanediol, and 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate) gave counts of 2.3 x 10(3) to 2.8 x 10(5) cells per g of dry soil. Homoacetogens isolated from the terminal positive steps of these dilution cultures belonged to the genus Sporomusa. Counts with succinate, ethanol, and lactate gave much higher MPNs of 5.9 x 10(5) to 3.4 x 10(7) cells per g of dry soil and led to the isolation of Desulfovibrio spp. Counting experiments on lactate and ethanol which included Methanospirillum hungatei in the medium gave MPNs of 2.3 x 10(6) to 7.5 x 10(8) cells per g of dry soil and led to the isolation of Sporomusa spp. The latter strains could grow with betaine, ethylene glycol, 2, 3-butanediol, and/or 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate, but apparently most cells of Sporomusa spp. did not initiate growth in counting experiments with those substrates. Spores apparently accounted for 2. 2% or less of the culturable bacteria. It appears that culturable Desulfovibrio spp. and Sporomusa spp. were present in approximately equal numbers in the bulk soil. Multiple, phylogenetically-distinct, phenotypically-different, strains of each genus were found in the same soil system.

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