Methanotrophs on silica gelled plates

Richard Mateles rmateles at
Fri Sep 12 10:33:55 EST 1997

I wonder if you're not misunderstanding the reason for silical gel.  Some
bacteria, generally chemoautotrophic, are inhibited by organic matter such
as agar.  Therefore, if growing them on plates, you need to use silica gel.
There are plenty of methanotrophs that grow fine on agar plates--a
background problem will arise if you have included any carbon compounds,
intentionally or unintentionally, in the medium that can support growth of
the non-methanotrophic bacteria.

	Keep in mind the dictum of the late Marjorie Stephenson:  "Microbiology is
a science in which the worse your techniques, the more interesting your

	Good luck!

Rich Mateles

Helene A Hilger <hhilger at UNCC.EDU> wrote in article
<199709121327.JAA26971 at>...
> Hello.
>  I am gearing up to try to enumerate methanotroophs in soil.  From the
references I've consulted, it looks like it may be 
> necessary to use silica gelled plates to avoid high background counts. 
> protocols for preparing such plates seem quite complicated.  I'd
> hearing from anyone who has experience preparing silica gelled plates, 
> especially if you've found a relatively simple protocol that works.  I'm
a civil 
> engineer with no access to glass petri dishes.  I'll need to be able to
> sterile media into plastic petri dishes.
>  Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.
>  Helene Hilger
>  Civil Engineering
>  UNC-Charlotte

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