how 2 ID soil microbes

Peter Herman herman at
Thu Aug 10 04:02:01 EST 1995

 	I concur wholeheartedly with Peter Reading.  The approach we have been
using is to run a series of biochem tests on the fresh isolates and let a
principal components analysis cluster them into taxa.  I have not been
worrying about what the "name" is as long as I can tell if they occur
again in the subsiquent samples from the same site or samples from other
vegetation types. 

	We have also been running fatty acid profiles and community
substrate use profiles (with Biolog Plates) on soil extracts to try to get
a handle on community changes over site and time.

	A word of warning on Biologs.  Make sure to follow the directions 
about growing up and washing carefully.  Also, if your bugs have major 
capsules or other metabolizable extracellular material, you are cooked.  
When the rascles are starved (ie in the water control well or with a 
substrate they can't use) some will strat to respire the extracellular 
material and transfer electrons to the tetrazolium.  There is nothing 
quite like seeing a dark purple water control well to get you muddled up! 


R. Peter Herman email 				Peter.Herman at 
Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet			Phone: +46 18 67 12 20 
Inst. f. Markvetenskap	 			Fax: +46 18 67 27 95 
S750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

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