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Colonization of soil by Arthrobacter and Pseudomonas under varying conditions of water and nutrient availability as studied by plate counts and transmission electron microscopy.

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  • Research Article


Arthrobacter globiformis and a Pseudomonas soil isolate were incubated separately and in combination in soil that had been presterilized by autoclaving. Growth and other responses of the cells in situ in this soil were monitored by plate counts and transmission electron microscopy examinations of cell sections. During the soil incubations, some of the samples were first allowed to dry and then were remoistened with water or with a dilute or a concentrated nutrient solution. Based on plate counts and ultrastructural analysis. Arthrobacter seemed to be in a non-multiplying coccoid-rod resting state and to be virtually immune to soil drying. Addition of a dilute nutrient solution helped maintain cell ultrastructure and prevent a low level of lysing that occurred in the absence of nutrient addition. Addition of a concentrated nutrient solution brought on cell multiplication as both coccoid-rods and long rods, but the ultimate form with further incubation was the coccoid-rod. The Pseudomonas strain suffered death and ultrastructural deterioration as water became less available. It responded by cell multiplication to an equal extent when either water or dilute nutrients were added, but possibly was able to give a growth response to nutritive amendment when a concentrated nutrient addition was made. The Arthrobacter was not affected by the presence of Pseudomonas in dual culture. The Pseudomonas, however, possibly suffered a nutritive deficiency under these conditions.

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