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Name: Michelle
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Question:
I am doing a science fair project on the effect of light on wild bacteria. I grew it from agar under flourescent, dark, sun, and no light. I would like to identify what types of bacteria I have and their mutations. Is there a site or reference in which I can find this information?.



Replies:
Dear Michelle,

What bacteria did you start with? where did they get from? without knowing that it will be extremely difficult to identify what is growing. Even knowing the source (soil, dirt, water, skin??) it will be hard to identify the species. And it will be impossible to identify mutations.

An alternative is to use a pure culture of bacteria to start with. At least you know what your'e working with then. You could use lactobacillus from yoghurt (with live cultues, check the label) or bacteria from cheese (the white cover on Bree, or the blue from blue cheese) or even yeast from a bakery (not a bacterium).

Read more about bacteria (though not the answer to your question) at the Virtual Museum of Bacteria:
www.bacteriamuseum.org

Dr. Trudy Wassenaar



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