Environmental Microbiology book cover

Environmental Microbiology

A Laboratory Manual

Environmental Microbiology: A Laboratory Manual is designed to meet the diverse requirements of upper division and graduate-level laboratory sessions in environmental microbiology. The experiments introduce students to the activities of various organisms and the analyses used to study them. The book is organized into three thematic sections: Soil Microbiology, Water Microbiology, and Environmental Biotechnology. The first section includes experiments on the soil as a habitat for microorganisms, and introduces the main types of soil microorganisms, how they interact with the soil, and the techniques used in their analysis. Experiments in the second section cover assays of microbial pathogens--bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites--used in food and water quality control as well as an exercise in applied bioremediation of contaminants in water. The final section on biotechnology includes applications of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of bacteria and the use of enrichment cultures and a computer-based, physiological test bank to isolate and identify a bacterium useful in bioremediation. Designed for maximum versatility and ease of use for both the student and instructor, each experiment is self-contained and includes theoretical, practical, and pedagogical material.

Professional microbiologists working with soil and water; upper-division undergraduate and graduate students studying environmental microbiology.

Paperback, 232 Pages

Published: December 2004

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-550656-4


  • "I would strongly recommend this laboratory manyal for any environmental microbiology course. It comes as a perfect complementary laboratory manual to the textbook "Environmental Microbiology" by R.M. Maier, I.L. Pepper and C.P. Gerber." - Dr. Hanan El-Mayas, Georgia State University "Environmental Microbiology: A Laboratory Manual provides a very good introduction to a variety of approaches used to assess microorganisms in the environment." - Deborah T. Newby, Idaho National Laboratory "The book has been written by two outstanding microbiologists and addresses critical methodological techniques for microbial analyses. The manual is designed for upper division and graduate-level laboratories in environmental microbiology. However, every laboratory dealing with microbes should have this excellent manual. In particular, I highly recommend it for laboratories that assess microbial risks and advantages. These include wastewater and water-treatment plants, soil-carbon-sequestration centers, and forensics and homeland-security laboratories. The bio-threat agents covered in the manual include bacteria (anthrax), viruses, and protozoan parasites (Cryptosporidium and Giardia). The new methods of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis are given. Sample problems allow the self-study student to follow correct procedures. The glossary is a valuable appendix. I thank the authors for making this information available to the many scientists and technicians who will benefit from it." - M.B. Kirkham, Kansas State University and author of Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations "[The manual] familiarizes the students with basic procedures and hands on experiments that are used as standard procedures by environmental agencies such as EPA for assessing waste treatment quality, water and food quality....The experimental procedures are presented in clear, concise and easy to follow steps....I finally would strongly recommend this laboratory manual for any environmental microbiology course (at the undergraduate/graduate level). It comes as a perfect complementary laboratory manual to the Text Book Environmental Microbiology by R.M. Maier, I.L. Pepper and C.P. Gerba (Academic Press, 2002)." -Hanan Lea El-Mayas, Georgia State University "...very useful for orienting current and future regulatorys to the problems and methods employed in the field." - David Yohalem, for INOCULUM


  • PrefaceBasic ProtocolsExperiment 1 - Dilution and Plating of Bacteria and Growth CurvesExperiment 2 - Soil Moisture Content DeterminationExamination of Soil Microorganisms via Microscopic and Cultural AssaysExperiment 3 - Contact Slide AssayExperiment 4 - Filamentous FungiExperiment 5 - Bacteria and ActinomycetesExperiment 6 - Algae: Enumeration by MPNMicrobial Transformations and Response to ContaminantsExperiment 7 - Oxidation of Sulfur in SoilExperiment 8 - Dehydrogenase Activity of SoilsExperiment 9 - Nitrification and DenitrificationExperiment 10 - Enrichment and Isolation of Bacteria that Degrade 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acidExperiment 11 - Adaptation of Soil Bacteria to MetalsExperiment 12 - Biodegradation of Phenol CompoundsExperiment 13 - Assimilable Organic MatterExperiment 14 - Biochemical Oxygen DemandWater MicrobiologyExperiment 15 - Membrane Filter TechniqueExperiment 16 - Bacteriological Examination of Water: the Coliform MPN TestExperiment 17 - Detection of BacteriophagesExperiment 18 - Film Medium for the Detection of Coliforms in Water, Food, and on SurfacesExperiment 19 - Defined Substrate Technology for the Detection of Coliforms and Fecal ColiformsAdvanced TopicsExperiment 20 - Detection of Enteric Viruses in WaterExperiment 21 - Detection of Waterborne ParasitesExperiment 22 - Kinetics of DisinfectionExperiment 23 - Aerobiology: Sampling of Airborne MicroorganismsExperiment 24 - Detection and Identification of Bacteria via PCR and Subsequent BLAST Analysis of Amplified SequencesAppendix 1: Preparation of Media and Stains for Each ExperimentAppendix 2: Glossary


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