Identify bacteria/fungus

Lorraine H. Robinson robinson at
Sat Feb 10 18:56:18 EST 1996

> Hello everyone,
> 	I have a collegue who has found bacteria or a fungus in clay samples 
using a scanning electron microscope.  The area of Turkey where the soil 
samples were taken has an extremely high cancer rate.  What is the 
quickest/easiest/cheapest way to determine what this microrganism is?  I think 
that lung cancer is the most prevalent, and some form of asbestos exposure is 
suspected.  I recall that some fungus can be toxic, and would like to follow 
up on it.
> Thank you for your time,
> Randy Nessler

First you need a pure culture. Take a 1:10 dilution (the more material the 
better), and plate it on TSA for bacteria and PDA for fungi. Incubate TSA 
aerobically and anaerobically at 25 and 35 C, the PDA at 25 C until you have 
good growth. Gram stain the growth off the TSA--give the PDA to a mycologist 
for ID'ing. That will put you a long way to figuring this out. Of course, dirt 
is riddled with microorganisms, so the chances you will be isolating what you 
saw on the SEM are sorta small.


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