Reports

Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber

Science  19 May 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5213, pp. 1060-1064
DOI: 10.1126/science.7538699

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Abstract

A bacterial spore was revived, cultured, and identified from the abdominal contents of extinct bees preserved for 25 to 40 million years in buried Dominican amber. Rigorous surface decontamination of the amber and aseptic procedures were used during the recovery of the bacterium. Several lines of evidence indicated that the isolated bacterium was of ancient origin and not an extant contaminant. The characteristic enzymatic, biochemical, and 16S ribosomal DNA profiles indicated that the ancient bacterium is most closely related to extant Bacillus sphaericus.

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