Author(s): Wainwright M, Wickramasinghe NC, Narlikar JV, Rajaratnam P
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Abstract Samples of air removed from the stratosphere, at an altitude of 41 km, were previously found to contain viable, but non-cultureable bacteria (cocci and rods). Here, we describe experiments aimed at growing these, together with any other organisms, present in these samples. Two bacteria (Bacillus simplex and Staphylococcus pasteuri) and a single fungus, Engyodontium album (Limber) de Hoog were isolated from the samples. Although the possibility of contamination can never be ruled out when space-derived samples are studied on earth, we are confident that the organisms originated from the stratosphere. Possible mechanisms by which these organisms could have attained such a height are discussed.
This article was published in FEMS Microbiol Lett
and referenced in Air & Water Borne Diseases