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Most microorganisms obtain carbon as well as energy from the oxidation of organic compounds but the nitrifying bacteria assimilate carbon dioxide from the air as a source of carbon. The sulfur bacteria and the hydrogen oxidizing bacteria also assimilate carbon dioxide from the air. Other bacteria that cannot assimilate carbon dioxide from the air are greatly stimulated by its presence. Increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air about cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus produces higher plate counts and larger colonies than cultures in carbon dioxide-free air. An increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the soil air stimulates the growth of certain of the fungi, particularly those associated with root-rot of the higher plants. Some of the fleshy fungi, the so-called "lignin-destroying" fungi, are greatly retarded in growth by the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in which they grow. On the other hand, there are cases on record in which carbon dioxide has acted as a growth depressant or germicide. The spores of Mucor, Aspergillus and Penicillium are prevented from germination by very high concentrations of carbon dioxide. The growth rate of yeast and fermentation of solutions have been retarded by certain concentrations of carbon dioxide.

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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© Copyright 1936 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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