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I'm spending my 26th birthday nursing a stinking cold at home, which provides a good opportunity for catching up on correspondence.
Sey Pomper (who is here for a year on a post-doctoral fellowship) has started to work with the purples, assisted by Martha.
I'm so overwhelmed with teaching
and other academic scut-work that I don't expect to do much myself until after Christmas. It turns out that the Rhodospiriillium
rubrum is not too easy to handle. It doesn't grow happily on a streaked[?] plate, and the best method for counts[?]
a single colony isolations appears to be incorporation of the moisture[?] in an agar overlayer[?], which presumably gives
some protection from high O2 concentrations, as well as the necessary moisture. Growth is relatively slow under the best
conditions yet devised ; it takes approx. 4 days to get easily visible colonies in illuminated plates. We don't know
whether this reflects long lags or long generation times, but it is clear that adaptation to dark growth requires very different
periods[?] with different strains. There may be selective factors at work in this case, of course. Since we have to work
out the details of cultivation and general physiology in any case, I suggest that you defer genetic studies until we can let
you know a bit more about optimal conditions and about suitable strains (the strain differences appear to be considerable).
Sey has run a few expts with streptomycin, but appears to have
succeeded only in making the organism highly resistant: single colonies are still well pigmented.