Dried soil cultures have been used widely for culture preservation, particularly for sporulating mycelial organisms. Moist, sterile soil may be inoculated with a culture and incubated for several days for some growth to occur and then allowed to dry at room temperature for approximately 2 weeks. The dry soil may be stored in a dry atmosphere or, preferably, in a refrigerator. The technique has been used extensively for the storage of fungi and actinomycetes and Pridham et al. (1973) observed that of 1800 actinomycetes dried on soil about 50% were viable after 20-years storage.
Malik (1991) described methods which extend the approach using substrates other than soil. Silica gel and porcelain beads are suggested alternatives and detailed methods are given for these simple, inexpensive techniques in Malik's discussion.
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