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Can J Microbiol. 1992 Jun;38(6):520-5.

Slow rehydration improves the recovery of dried bacterial populations.

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LiphaTech, Inc., Milwaukee, WI 53209.


Slow rehydration of bacteria from dried inoculant formulations provided higher viable counts than did rapid rehydration. Estimates were higher when clay and peat powder formulations of Rhizobium meliloti, Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar trifolii, and Pseudomonas putida, with water activities between 0.280 and 0.650, were slowly rehydrated to water activities of approximately 0.992 before continuing the dilution plating sequence. Rhizobium meliloti populations averaged 6.8 x 10(8) cfu/g and 1328 cfu/alfalfa seed greater when slowly rehydrated from bulk powder and preinoculated seeds, respectively. Bulk powder samples were slowly rehydrated to 0.992 water activity by the gradual addition of diluent, followed by a 10-min period for moisture equilibration. Preinoculated seed samples were placed in an environmental chamber at 24 degrees C with relative humidity greater than 80% for 1 h to allow moisture absorption. "Upshock," osmotic cellular stresses that occur during rehydration, was reduced when dried microbial formulations were slowly rehydrated and equilibrated before becoming fully hydrated in the dilution plating sequence. These procedures may also be applicable when estimating total viable bacterial populations from dried soil or other dry formulations.

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