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Appl Microbiol. 1972 Mar;23(3):637-48.

Microflora of soil as viewed by transmission electron microscopy.

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Department of Microbiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802.


Several procedures were evaluated for separating and concentrating indigenous microorganisms from soil without the occurrence of growth. Electron microscopy of nontangential, thin sections through these cells revealed that all of the cells examined were less than 0.9 mum in diameter, and up to 72% were "dwarf" cells less than 0.3 mum in diameter. Some were small enough that they should not be resolved with the light microscope. Approximately 27% had a fine structure bearing some resemblance to that of a bacterial cyst or microcyst, but this value may be low because cells having their outer layers partially stripped off were not included in the count. Approximately 25% showed a distinct periplasmic space, which often contained stainable material. Other fine structure features are presented together with frequencies of occurrence for the populations examined.


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