Osmostic shock

John Cherwonogrodzky jcherwon at dres.dnd.ca
Fri Nov 10 16:05:52 EST 1995

Dear Andrew Gumley:
     In theory bacteria should run into osmotic problems if put into distilled 
water. In practise I haven't seen much of this. When I placed Brucella abortus 
in sterile distilled water years back (I can't remember why I would have done 
this, I normally use 1% saline) they were unaffected over 5-10 minutes. On the 
other hand, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which thrives in seawater with 3% salt, 
popped. Brucella,like plant pathogens such as Azotobacter, has a glucose 
polymer in its periplasmic space to avoid such shocks.
     Take care...John

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