Microbial Analysis of Soil

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Microbial analysis of soil, of top layer from selected sites of Area near Dahisar River
Saika N. Esani
University of Mumbai
(Email – saikae@ymail.com)

Abstract: soil samples were collected fortnightly from area near Dahisar River, A river in suburb of Mumbai. laboratory analysis started from July 2010 to September 2010. Total bacterial and fungal count were estimated by standard spread plate isolation. Isolated bacteria were subject to colony characterization and were estimated by their morphological and biochemical characters. As being a monsoon the occurrence of variation of different species were high. The microorganisms isolated from the soil were of staphylococcus strain and were gram positive, aerobic, coccus shaped bacteria. The fungal species were also identified, of which Aspergillus and Penicillium were dominant, followed by mucur, as sub dominant .This project aims to find out the water and soil quality of River and as it is flowing through an industrial area, to find out if it is getting affected by the Industrial pollutants. Introduction:

Soil is the region on the earth’s crust where geology and biology meet, the land surface that provides a home to plant animal and microbial life (Pelczar et al., 1993). Soil teems with microscopic life (bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa and viruses) as well as macroscopic life such as earthworms, nematodes, mites, and insects, and also the root systems of plants. The numbers and kinds of micro- organisms present in soil depend on many environmental factors: amount and type of nutrients available, available moisture, degree of aeration, pH, temperature etc (Prescott et al., 1999). Soil bacteria and fungi play pivotal roles in various biochemical cycles and are responsible for the recycling of organic compounds (Wall and Virginia, 1999). Soil microorganisms also influence above- ground ecosystems by contributing to plant nutrition, plant health, soil structure and soil fertility (O’Donnell et al., 2001). Soil is generally a favorable habitat for the proliferation of microorganisms, with micro colonies, developing around soil particles. Numbers of micro organism .

In soil habitats normally are much higher than those in fresh water or marine habitats (Atals and Bartha, 1998). Bacteria make up the most abundant group of micro- organisms in the soil (3.0 x 106 – 5.0 x 108) per gram of soil, followed by the actinomycetes (1.0 x 106 – 2.0 x 107), fungi (5.0 x 103 – 9.0 x 106), yeast (I.0 x 103 – 1.0 x 106), algae and protozoa (1.0 x 103- 5.0 x 105) and nematodes (50 – 200) counts per gram of soil are wide differences in the relative proportions of individual bacteria genera found in particular soils (Atals and Bartha, 1998). Soil fungi may occur as free-living organisms or in mycorrhizal association with plant roots. Fungi are found primarily in the top 10 cm of the soil and are rarely found below 30 cm. They are most abundant in well-aerated and acidic soils (Domsch et al., 1980). Most fungi in soil are opportunistic (zymogenous). They grow and carry out active metabolism when conditions are favorable which implies adequate moisture, adequate aeration and relatively high concentrations of utilizable substrates (Postage, 1994; Miyanoto et al., 2002). In this research we isolate culturable heterotrophic bacteria and fungi from different top soil samples MATERIALS AND METHODS

Laboratory analysis
Preparation of materials
The materials needed for this experiment include; glass wares (conical flasks, bijou bottles, pipettes, petri-dishes) and they were washed with detergents. These glass wares were rinsed thoroughly with clean distilled portable water and left to air dry before sterilizing them in the autoclave at 15◦C for 1 hour. Also, the laboratory cabinets on which the work would be carried out was swabbed with cotton wool soaked in methylated spirit to sterilize it before any microbiological analysis was carried out to avoid the growth and isolation of other...
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