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[Microbiology] Re: Help!!!Trying to measure Oil Eating Microbe growth....

Tom McCloud via microbio%40net.bio.net (by tommccld from gmail.com)
Fri Dec 17 12:14:05 EST 2010

    A few comments rather than answers:

    Butanol is substantially soluble in water while oil not.   Do you
know for a fact that your microbe survives in water containing a lot
of butanol?   Perhaps demonstration of microbial growth in aqueous
media containing less butanol than what it takes to form a two-phase
system is in order.    With only butanol as an energy source I would
speculate that growth will be slow.

    What micronutrients are contained in your water?

    Have you accidentally used the word 'hydrocarbon'?   I would not
describe butanol as a hydrocarbon.   I would describe butane, pentane
hexane and gasoline as hydrocarbons.   T. McCloud

On Fri, 17 Dec 2010 03:23:30 -0800 (PST), Gman <Ghainke from aol.com>

>Hello out there.....
>I'm not a Microbiologist so this is probably why the process below is
>not working....:(
>Any help or comments would be appreciated.
>I am trying to culture oil eating microbes and measure their growth by
>looking at the co2 levels they are emitting.
>I know the normal thing would be to culture them in an agar dish and
>score visually but I got the bright idea that measuring co2 emissions
>would provide an earler and more sensitive indication of their growth.
>Here is how I'm doing it:
>Have a quart Ball fruit jar filled with distilled water about 2" below
>PH about 6.0-temp is about 70 degrees.
>Purchased some Oil Eating Microbes from a science lab, added 1/2
>teaspoon to the jar.
>Added Butanol as the Hydrocarbon food. Added enough to create about a
>1/4" oil slick on top of the jar.
>Placed lid on jar.
>Jar lid has an air tight inlet and outlet tube that connects to my co2
>meter. Co2 meter will measure down to 50ppm.Co2 meter has an injector
>pump and I am pulling air from the headspace of the jar, through the
>co2 meter, back into the jar.
>The incubation has been running 72 hours and I'm not seeing any real
>elevation in co2 and no real visible indication of growth.Room c02 is
>about 400ppm and the jar co2 is about 1600 ppm however it read that
>almost immediately after I started the incubation and that reading has
>actually dropped some and is not increasing.
>I am using Butanol instead of a light grade oil for food. Light grade
>oil is usually supplied with the microbes I bought but I am looking
>for bugs that eat Butanol type (light) Hydrocarbons.
>The jar is sealed where the normal science kit indicated leaving the
>jar open , however I needed it to be sealed in order to trap the c02.
>Also I figured there was enough O2 in the headspace of the jar for
>some growth.
>I have also considered the cO2 could actually choke the bugs but I
>don't think co2 levels have ever got to that point yet.
>Many have said add sugar or other nutrients to kick start growth but I
>don't want to get a Heinz 57 colony growing. I only want to stimulate
>Hydrocarbon specific bacteria.
>Anybody have any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions?
>If someone can help me with this I'll gladly pay a couple hundred
>bucks for your time.

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