BISC209/S11: Assignment 209 Lab2

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Wellesley College-BISC 209 Microbiology -Spring 2011


Lab2 Assignment: Table of Morphologic, Physical, and Metabolic Characteristics of Bacteria likely to be found in your soil community

Make or Fill out a Table of the relevant morphologic, physical, and useful metabolic characteristics of expected genera of soil bacterial that you are attempting to find in your habitat. You may construct your own table or you may use the Excel file template, Soil Bacteria Culture Characteristics Spread Sheet S11, found in the Resources section of Sakai.

Morphologic or physical characteristics to include are:

  1. shape (coccus, bacillus, spirillum, vibrio, dimorphic etc),
  2. arrangement (strep, staph, palisades, individual, diplo, etc),
  3. colony morphology, motility,
  4. Gram stain or other stain-reveling cell wall characteristic,
  5. motility,
  6. capsule formation,
  7. sporulation, .

Metabolic characteristics should include:

  1. expected reactions on SIMs media tests (H2S and indol production),
  2. unusual carbon-source utilization information,
  3. any nitrogen-cycling capacity,
  4. cellulose and/or starch degradation
  5. phosphate recycling
  6. any other interesting or unusual metabolic capabilities or incapabilities

Include an appropriate enrichment medium and conditions (preferred temperature and oxygen gas requirement or sensitivity) and note whether or not the bacteria will grow on a general purpose medium such as nutrient agar.

Include the following genera:

  1. Caulobacter,
  2. Asticcacaulis,
  3. Hyphomicrobium,
  4. Pedomicrobium,
  5. Hyphomonas,
  6. Thiodendron,
  7. Azotobacter,
  8. Bacillus,
  9. Streptomyces,
  10. Nitrobacter,
  11. Nitrosomonas,
  12. 3-5 other genera likely to be found in your soil community.

You will are likely to find most of this information in the following references: The Prokaryotes or Bergey's Manual. Directions for how to access the Wellesley library's electronic version of these books are in the Resources section of this wiki. Don't worry too much about finding every single one of the characteristics requested for every genera, but attempt to make the table as complete as possible. Your goal in making this table is to use it later to compare this reference pattern of characteristics of bacteria in these genera to the evidence you collect from the tests you will perform on your isolated bacteria. We will not be able to firmly identify your isolates by genus name; however, you may be able to get a likely group or, possibly, genus id from your test results compared to reference results. Before the era of DNA based identification, the only way to identify bacteria was to perform a battery of morphologic and metabolic tests on isolated pure cultures of bacteria. You will be performing a small subset of the kind of tests previously used to differentiate microorganisms (such as pathogens from normal flora in hospital microbiology labs) before the advent of spot molecular based tools and genomics.

Links to Labs

Lab 1
Lab 2
Lab 3
Lab 4
Lab 5
Lab 6
Lab 7
Lab 8
Lab 9
Lab 10
Lab 12