Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Bacterial pathways for water contamination, asking resident microbiologist

  1. Jun 2, 2012 #1
    Virtual experiment, please explain regarding nitrifying bacteria in aqueous solutions, how they transfer in air currents even though they aren't spore formers:

    Sterile glass beaker and sterilized, distilled water sets in a biology lab on the counter with no lid. Microbe count is zero so far.

    No direct physical transfer of contaminants occur. Say you left the container opened in a room with circulating outside air via AC, no special positive air pressure provisions for a month. There is sufficient fluid to account for evap and still leave fluid for testing.

    Prediction: what kind of microbes will be present, how will sterility be affected, and can any of the biofilm/bacteria in the sample be comprised of nitrifying bacteria that traveled the airborne contamination route?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2012 #2
    I was told nitrifying bacteria from various ecologies can only cross waterways via physical transfer, they desiccate in the air if attached to suspended dirt particles and they aren't spore formers to xfer that way, but this seems limiting for such a cornerstone organism. I want to know if there is -any- airborne contamination pathway for specifically the nitrifying bacteria in marine or freshwater species.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook