“Bendy Benjamin” or “Flatulent Fred”?

I was doing a bit of poking around today, and now I’m wondering if the funky-looking spiral/bendy bacteria are of the genus Desulfovibrio. The cell morphology kind of fits – and there’s good evidence that there’s sulfate being reduced down to hydrogen sulfide in the samples (it’s possible there are no iron reducers at all, really, and that the iron reduction is just being caused by reaction with the hydrogen sulfide.) I should mention, though, that this is pretty audacious speculation, since it’s essentially impossible to identify anything based on just looking at it in a microscope…
If nothing else, though, if it IS a “desulfovibrio” type bacteria it might be the most halotolerant one described so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve actually got a few different sulfate-reducing bacteria growing in there.

That’s something I like about scientific research – even if you don’t get what you’re looking for, you can still find interesting new things (I’ll be a little disappointed if I can find no halophilic iron-reducing bacteria in the samples, but it would still be spiffy to just manage to isolate and identify some previously unknown bug. Or in my currently more-easily-pleased case, just to isolate an odd organism to add to the culture collection I’d like to start…

Hopefully more time at the microscope tomorrow, so maybe I’ll have more (and better) pictures.

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The Author is (currently) an autodidactic student of Industrial and Environmental microbiology, who is sick of people assuming all microbiology should be medical in nature, and who would really like to be allowed to go to graduate school one of these days now that he's finished his BS in Microbiology (with a bonus AS in Chemistry). He also enjoys exploring the Big Room (the one with the really high blue ceiling and big light that tracks from one side to the other every day) and looking at its contents from unusual mental angles.

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