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Plants & Soil, Bulletin No. 1

Ian Sutherland WISHART at SRV0.BIO.ED.AC.UK
Tue Jun 3 03:26:54 EST 1997

Like R. Palmer I doubt whether the soil is as dry all the time as is 
implied. What about the diurnal variation and nocturnal moisture in 
many environments? That might provide enough moisture for some 
bacterial growth. If they then synthesise exopolysaccharide they can 
surround themselves with a very hydrophilic environment which can 
provide a protective film within which there remains a sufficiently 
high humidity for the cells to survive. recent work by Kevin Hughes 
working here has shown the great difference in survival between EPS 
plus and EPS minus strains during deisccation.
Another point about the soil and also leaf surfaces is the common 
finding of Myxobacteria as microcolonies. Surely an example of a 
monospecies biofilm!  Any ideas on these? Ian Sutherland.

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