>show some bacteria degrading petroleum either in tubes or
>petri dishes. Does any one know strains, time frame to show an effect
>and other conditions? Any other bacterial remediation that can be
>turned into an exhibit?
This can be done with vapor phase hydrocarbons. It requires a mineral salts
agar medium, a very-well washed soil inoculum ( to avoid nutrient carryover)
and dessicator (or equivilant) and a vacuum source.
Spread a dlution of the washed inoculum on agar in petri dishes, put the dishes
in a dessictor, put a small beaker of hydrocarbon into the dessicator, close
and apply a slight vacuum (which probably is not really required.) Colonies
will grow using the vapur phase hydrocarbons as their carbon and energy
sources. Over the years we have done these as class demos using octane, nonane,
naphtalene, etc. It works very nicely and when it fails it is usdually due to
too many cells or nutreints being carried in by the inoculum.