cyanobacterial contaminants

thoma457 thoma457 at uidaho.edu
Tue Aug 18 11:32:06 EST 1998

I do a lot of work with unicellular cyanobacteria.  I have found that
chloramphenicol and kanamycin work well at killing cyanos.  If you want
something very short-lived, try tetracycline--it rapidly photodegrades.



> Dear Microbiologists,
> I am growing ttwo types of moss crusts on sand trays, with the purpose of
> testing the resultant crusts in a wind tunnel. Of necessity the trays are
> large..2m by 30cm.  In total I have 3reps of each moss...and plan to test
> the ability of moss protonema to withstand wind erosion.  unfortunately ,
> despite my best efforts, I have a cyanobacterial contaminant... probably a
> species of Nostoc, ( which is a good sand binder) . The sand was autoclaved
> for 50mins in a shallow pan. The deionized water  also runs through a U/V
> light system. All equipment was sterilized or where appropriate washed down
> with a strong soln of Chlorox.  The trays are in a large plastic tent and
> misted at regular intervals.
> One of the mosses is Pohlia which prefers an acdic environment, so I can
> spray with a medium which is pH 3.5. This seems to inhibit the Nostoc.
> The other moss is Tortula, whch dies at a similar pH.
> I was thinking of treating the Tortula crust with Streptomycin, until I
> found out that it is stable, but also toxic to humans. There is a lot of
> dust generated in the wind tunnel and I am afraid of causing problems to
> the people who work there now and in the future!
> Does anyone know of an antibiotic that is not particularly stable but is
> effective against cyanobacteria?  or alternatively does anyone have any
> suggestions ?
> Any help would be gratefully welcomed.
> Christine

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