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Ecology of Sulfur-Oxidizing Bacteria in Hot Acid Soils

By Carl B. Fliermans and Thomas D. Brock


Hot acid soils in Yellowstone National Park are rich in elemental sulfur and harbor extensive populations of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Thiobacillus thiooxidans is found at temperatures below 55 C, and at temperatures from 55 to 85 C Sulfolobus acidocaldarius is present. The distribution of these bacteria as a function of temperature was measured by a most-probable-number dilution method, and their activity in situ was assessed by use of a new technique permitting measurement of 14CO2 fixation. From these data it is concluded that sulfur-oxidizing bacteria are responsible for production of sulfuric acid in these acidic thermal habitats. Physical and chemical parameters of this unusual soil habitat were also measured and are described

Topics: Taxonomy and Ecology
Year: 1972
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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