K N and P J Harris ecoli at
Sun Mar 17 10:38:19 EST 1996

> ==========
> bionet/microbiology #2297, from R.Scopes at, 782 chars, 13 
Mar 1996 07:34:44 
> ----------
> Article: 3246 of bionet.microbiology
> Path:!!btnet!!pipex
> nic!!!lugb.
> From: "R.K. Scopes" <R.Scopes at>
> Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology
> Subject: carbonivores
> Date: 13 Mar 1996 07:34:44 GMT
> Organization: La Trobe University
> Lines: 3
> Message-ID: <4i5tqk$nrv at>
> NNTP-Posting-Host:
> A lot of biomass carbon ends up as just that--carbon, after fires, 
> Has anyone ever come across a microorganism that can use plain carbon
> as a carbon source ?!  (watch out for your diamonds, girls)
I am only guessing but from the amount of carbon/charcoal that can be 
found in most soil samples (sieving and decanting for mycorrhizal spores 
 turns up quite a lot) it is pretty resistant. One approach might be to 
isolate some carbon/charcoal by dissolving/hydrolysing everthing else 
and the try a carbon dating on the carbon remains, I would lay 
reasonable odds that it is so old as to suggest extreme stability.
Peter Harris,
Reading Univ. UK.

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