A soil chamber as a method for the microscopic study of the soil microflora
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The study of the s. c. soil slides (Cholodny 1930) shows, that a considerable number of soil microorganisms can develop on the surface of the clean glass inside small hollows, which are formed in many parts of the slide, because in some places the soil does not adhere closely to the glass.
From this observation arose the idea, that soil microorganisms can be studied in their natural habitat and in natural conditions, when cultivated in small transparent hollows, soil chambers.
To get preparations of soil with transparent chambers adapted for microscopic investigations, the writer constructed an apparatus, the soil press, described in this paper.
A ready preparation with a soil chamber presents an uniformly thick (about 1 mm) layer of the moist soil, placed between an object-and a cover-slide. In the middle part of this layer is a cylindric hollow (about 4 mm in diameter), which serves for microscopic study of the soil microorganisms.
Various soil microorganism (Bacteria, Fungi, actinomycetes, protozoa) develop inside such chambers on the clean surface of the cover glass, partly in a narrow peripheric zone, immediately near the particles of soil, that form the walls of the chamber, partly on the portions of the glass, nearer to its centre.
By means of the method of soil chambers can be performed continuous observations on different soil microorganisms “in vivo”, in natural conditions, and the influence of soil treatment on the microflora can also be studied experimentally. It may be possible to isolate some microorganisms and transfer them on sterilized nutritive media for further investigations.
The method proposed can present a valuable supplement to other methods generally employed in soil microbiology.
KeywordsMicroscopic Study Soil Microorganism Cover Glass Microscopic Investigation Soil Treatment
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