The Effects of Several Factors on the Growth of Pure and Mixed Cultures of Azotobacter Chroococcum and Bacillus Subtilis

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We studied the effect of a clay mineral, palygorskite, on the physiological activity of Azotobacter chroococcum and the phosphate-mobilizing bacterium Bacillus subtilis, as well as their mixed cultures, under various oxygen supply conditions during the utilization of phosphorus from readily and poorly soluble compounds (K2HPO4 · 3H2O) and (Ca3(PO4)2), respectively. During cultivation of the bacteria in a nutrient medium with Ca3(PO4)2, the number of microorganisms was higher than that observed in a medium with K2HPO4. An increase in oxygen mass transfer in the nutrient medium was followed by a rise in the number of Bacillus subtilis cells and an inhibition of Azotobacter chroococcum growth. An addition of palygorskite (5 g/l) into the nutrient medium stimulated the growth of both bacteria and stopped the decreasing growth of Azotobacter chroococcum at high values of oxygen mass transfer. The number of Bacillus and, particularly, Azotobacter cells was two to five times lower in a mixed culture than in a monoculture. These differences were less significant during the cultivation of mixed cultures in medium with palygorskite.

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