Characteristic soil smell?
Bruce A. Caldwell
caldwelb at fsl.orst.edu
Tue Oct 3 17:59:21 EST 2000
The Perry information is a bit off; forest soils harbor tens of thousands to
millions actinomycetes per cubic centimeter! In some ecomycorrhizal mats,
populations can reach several million per gram. The problem is that being
spore-formers, you can't distinguish which CFU came from hyphae and which came
Oregon State University
truffler1635 at my-deja.com wrote:
> In article <8qpidi$30l$1 at zipperii.zip.com.au>,
> korman at zipworld.com.au (Kate Orman) wrote:
> > I hope you'll forgive this intrusion - I'm a science fiction writer and a
> > former microbiology student, racking my brains to remember something one
> > of my lecturers once said! Apparently there's a particular soil microbe
> > which gives soil its characteristic smell. I'd like to mention it in a
> > story I'm writing, but I can't remember the organism's name for the life
> > of me, and my research hasn't turned it up. I'd be most grateful for any
> > help!
> > Cheers,
> > --
> Good luck, Kate. According to Dr. David Perry, a single cubic foot of
> soil contains some 15,000 such microbes. I am unaware of a single-smell
> any particular organism may exude (except potassium cyanide seems to be
> common: burnt almonds).
> However, many soil fungi _do_ have rather distinctive smells, which are
> often clues to their fruiting about this time of year. Ones that I find
> particularly identifiable are matsutake (Tricholoma magnilevare);
> chanterelles (Cantharellus formosus) and Hydnellum peckii (Peck's
> Hydnum), and truffles (Tuber, Leucangium, Picoa, Hydnotrya sps). Several
> fungi also have strong, floral scents, similar to hyacinths or cinnamon.
> Daniel B. Wheeler
> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.
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