Winogradsky Column

The Winogradsky column is a simple device for culturing a large diversity of microorganisms. Invented by Sergei Winogradsky, the and water mixed with a carbon source such as newspaper (containing cellulose) blackened marshmallows or egg-shells (containing calcium carbonate) and a sulfur source such as gypsum (calcium sulfate) or egg-yolk. Incubating the column in sunlight for months results in an aerobic/anaerobic gradient as well as a sulfide gradient. These two gradients promote the growth of different micro-organisms such as clostridium, desulfovibrio, chlorobium, chromatium, rhodomicrobium, beggiatoa, as well as many other species of bacteria, cyanobacteria, and algae. The winogradsky column was made in the 1880's.

The column provides numerous gradients, depending on additive nutrients, from which the variety of aforementioned organisms can grow. The aerobic water phase and anaerobic mud or soil phase are one such distinction. Due to low oxygen solubility in water the water quickly becomes anoxic towards the interface of the mud and water. Anaerobic phototrophs are still present to a large extent in the mud phase, there is still capacity for biofilm creation and colony expansion, as noted by the images. Algae and other aerobic phototrophs are present along the surface and water of the upper half of the columns. Green growth is often attributed to these organisms.

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Other articles related to "winogradsky column, column":

Winogradsky Column - Construction
... The column is a rough mixture of ingredients - exact measurements are not critical ... The column is sealed tightly to prevent evaporation of water and incubated for several months in strong natural light ...

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