Accession Number : AD0618783

Title :   THE PRESENCE OF BACTERIA IN PERMAFROST OF THE ALASKAN ARCTIC,

Corporate Author : ARCTIC INST OF NORTH AMERICA WASHINGTON D C

Personal Author(s) : Boyd,William L. ; Boyd,Josephine W.

Report Date : 16 JUL 1964

Pagination or Media Count : 6

Abstract : The possible occurrence of viable microbes and other forms of life in permanently frozen material has intrigued microbioligists for many years. If present, these may well be the oldest living things on this planet, having survived over a long period of time under frozen conditions. Because of the difficulties of sampling through permanently frozen ground and due to logistics and other problems of methodology, only few studies on the mocrobial flora of permafrost have been made. To extend these studies and to include quantitative studies of the Alaskan Arctic, a series of holes 32 in. in diameter were drilled to depths of 8-15 ft. in permafrost along a traverse between Elson Lagoon and the village of Barrow. Samples were collected from the wall of the hole for analysis. Throughout the depth of the soil section the number of thermophilic bacteria was more or less constant; markedly fewer mesophilic forms were observed in the permafrost than in the active layer. In general, molds were restricted to the upper 6 in. of the soil and psychrophilic bacteria to the upper 12 in. During this work, many colonies of the thermophilic bacteria were isolated and examined, and almost all were able to produce spores. The question of age of these soil bacteria could only be answered by radiocarbon dating. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*BACTERIA, PERMAFROST), (*PERMAFROST, BACTERIA), HALF LIFE, VIABILITY, SPORES, COLLECTING METHODS, CULTURE MEDIA, ARCTIC REGIONS, ALASKA

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE