Entrapment of Bacteria in Fluid Inclusions in Laboratory-Grown Halite

Entrapment of Bacteria in Fluid Inclusions in Laboratory-Grown Halite

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  • November 20, 2018
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Cells of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which were genetically modified to produce green fluorescent protein, were entrapped in fluid inclusions in laboratory-grown halite. The bacteria were used to inoculate NaCl-saturated aqueous solutions, which were allowed to evaporate and precipitate halite. The number, size, and distribution of fluid inclusions were highly variable, but did not appear to be affected by the presence of the bacteria. Many of the inclusions in crystals from inoculated solutions contained cells in populations ranging from two to 20. Microbial attachment to crystal surfaces was neither evident nor necessary for entrapment. Cells occurred exclusively within fluid inclusions and were not present in the crystal matrix. In both the inclusions and the hypersaline solution, the cells fluoresced and twitched, which indicates that the bacteria might have remained viable after entrapment. The …

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