Letter | Published:

Myxobacteria Mistaken for Nitrifying Bacteria

Naturevolume 168page561 (1951) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

IN connexion with the communication under this title by Miss Joyce B. Grace, published in Nature of July 21, p. 117, a careful re-reading of Winogradsky's papers on the subject1 leads me to believe that he has described two quite different species under the name of Nitrosocystis. In the first place, there is the organism isolated by Romell2 from forest soil by Winogradsky's later technique of placing grains of soil on the surface of silica gel plates. Imsenecki repeated this work, and obtained Nitrosomonas, and a non-nitrifying myxobacterium, Sorangium symbioticum3. In the second place, there is the zooglœa-forming species, isolated by Winogradsky from Zurich soil by the enrichment culture technique, originally described in 1892 as a Nitrosomonas, and reclassified by Winogradsky in 1933 as a Nitrosocystis. This species forms the ‘hard colonies’ mentioned by Kingma Boltjes4, whose work Miss Grace dismisses with the statement that there was “no evidence that the cultures were pure”; the cultures in question, however, were single-cell isolations. As regards hard colonies, I have seen them formed by my own pure cultures of an ammonia-oxidizing bacterium, which I have every reason to believe is a Nitrosomonas5. I think that the formation of hard or soft colonies depends on the density of the silica gel in the plate, and also on whether the colony is buried or superficial; Kingma Boltjes observed both types on his plates made from pure cultures of Nitrosomonas.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Winogradsky, S., “Microbiologie du Sol” (Paris, 1949).

  2. 2

    Romell, L-G., Medd. Skogsförsöksanst, Stockholm, 24, 57 (1927).

  3. 3

    Imsenecki, A., Nature, 157, 877 (1946).

  4. 4

    Kingma Boltjes, T. Y., Arch. Mikrobiol., 6, 79 (1935).

  5. 5

    Meiklejohn, J., J. Gen. Microbiol., 4, 185 (1950).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts

    • JANE MEIKLEJOHN

Authors

  1. Search for JANE MEIKLEJOHN in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/168561b0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.