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Role of resistance to starvation in bacterial survival in sewage and lake water.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Water Microbiology, growth & development, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Species Specificity, Sewage, Rhizobium, Pseudomonas, Micrococcus, Kinetics, Fresh Water, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacteria, Bacillus subtilis

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      A study was conducted to determine the significance of starvation resistance to the ability of a species to survive in sewage and lake water. Tests were conducted for periods of up to 14 days. Rhizobium meliloti and one fluorescent and one nonfluorescent strain of Pseudomonas were resistant to starvation because their population sizes did not fall appreciably in buffer and sterile lake water, and the first two maintained high numbers after being added to sterile sewage. Cell densities of these bacterial species dropped slowly in nonsterile sewage, and more cells of these three organisms than of the other test organisms remained in nonsterile lake water. Rhizobium leguminosarum was moderately resistant to starvation because its numbers fell slowly in buffer and sterile lake water and did not change appreciably in sterile sewage. The abundance of Micrococcus flavus added to buffer and sterile lake water did not change, but the density of M. flavus declined in nonsterile lake water. The abundance of R. leguminosarum fell in nonsterile lake water and nonsterile sewage. Streptococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, an asporogenous strain of Bacillus subtilis, and Streptococcus sp. were susceptible to starvation because their populations were markedly reduced in buffer. Populations of the last three species declined rapidly in nonsterile and sterile samples of lake water and sewage. S. faecalis declined rapidly when added to nonsterile lake water and sewage and sterile lake water but not when added to sterile sewage, the persistence in the last instance probably being associated with the availability of organic nutrients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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