Date of Award:

1950

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Biology

Advisor/Chair:

Kenneth R. Stevens

Abstract

The importance of actinomycetes in the soils was generally overlooked until about 1913. The investigators Hiltner and Stormer and Beijerinck began systemtaic study of their occurrence and role in soil fertility. The work done by these men and others since 1913 has proved actinomycetes to occur abundantly in most soils of the world. This work done by these men and others since 1913 has proved actinomycetes to occur abundantly in most soils of the world. This work has also proved the function of these organisms to be that of decomposing highly resistant materials such as humus and complex polysaccharide compounds. More recent work by Waksman and coworkers has established the importance of these organisms in the study of antibotics. Surveys of actinomycetes have since been made of soils in the United States and countires abroad; however, no survey has been made of soils of the great arid region of the United States. Utah soils are typical of the soils found in this region. The purpose of this study is to determine the number of actinomycetes in Utah soils in relation to the total microflora of the soil, and to appraise some of their antagonistic properties. This investigation has been primarily limited to 49 samples taken from the soils of Utah which have been studied and described by the United States Department of Agriculture.

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