SUMMARY: The growth and survival of (NCIMB 10683) in a wheatfield and a sand-dune soil were investigated by introducing rod-shaped cells on the surface of microscope slides into the soil. Slides were recovered and stained with fluorescent antibodies. In the wheatfield soil, new microcolonies of considerable size were observed on or around both soil particles and fungal hyphae throughout the incubation period of 48 d. In both sterile and non-sterile wheatfield soil, the majority of the rods reverted to cocci after 2 weeks incubation. In the sand-dune soil, cells did not grow and only a few were found after 48 d. Growth of in the wheatfield soil was also investigated using a direct soil inoculation technique. Soil samples were recovered after different incubation periods and cells extracted using a centrifugation method. The number of cells in extracts was estimated using ELISA and direct count techniques. In the latter technique, extracted cells were double-stained with fluorescent antibodies and ethidium bromide. Growth took place in both sterile and non-sterile wheatfield soil. The introduced rods reverted to cocci after a few days, as on the slides. However, cells introduced directly into soil grew faster than those introduced on slides.


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