Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 150, Issue 4, pp 320–325 | Cite as

Factors affecting the survival and growth of bacteria introduced into lake water

  • Phillip R. Scheuerman
  • John P. Schmidt
  • Martin Alexander
Original Papers


The populations of Pseudomonas sp. B4, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Micrococcus flavus, and Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli declined rapidly in lake water. The initially rapid decline of the two pseudomonads and R. phaseoli was followed by a period of slow loss of viability, but viable cells of the other species were not found after 10 days. The rapid initial phase of decline was not a result of Bdellovibrio spp., bacteriophages, or toxins in the water since Bdellovibrio spp. were not present and passage of the lake water through filters that should not have removed bacteriophages or soluble toxins led to the elimination of the rapid phase of decline. The addition of 250 μg of cycloheximide and 30 μg of nystatin per ml eliminated viable protozoa form the lake water, and the population of Pseudomonas sp. B4 did not fall and the decline of E. coli and K. pneumoniae was delayed or slowed under these conditions. Pseudomonas sp. L2 proliferated rapidly in lake water amended with glucose, phosphate, and NH4NO3, but its numbers subsequently fell abruptly; however, in water amended with cycloheximide and nystatin, which killed indigenous protozoa, the population density was higher and the fall in numbers was delayed. Of the nutrients, the chief response was to carbon, but when glucose was added, phosphorus and nitrogen stimulated growth further. Removing other bacteria by filtering the lake water before inoculation with Pseudomonas sp. L2 suggested that competition reduced the extent of response of the pseudomonad to added nutrients. We suggest that the decline in lake water of bacteria that are resistant to starvation may be a result of protozoan grazing and that the extent of growth of introduced species may be limited by the supply of available carbon and sometimes of nitrogen and phosphorus, and by predation by indigenous protozoa.

Key words

Escherichia Klebsiella Lake water Micrococcus Multiplication Protozoa Pseudomonas Rhizobium Survival 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillip R. Scheuerman
    • 1
  • John P. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Martin Alexander
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Soil Microbiology, Department of AgronomyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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