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hod of identifying bacteria in the sap of maple trees which may allow for increased contamination control. Their findings appear in the April 2004 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

"This solution is known to be a good nutrient medium for microorganisms, and their growth in the sap will eventually effect the quality of maple syrup and other end products," say the researchers.

Bacterial contamination of maple sap usually occurs at the taphole. In the study, samples of sap were taken from the taphole of maple trees throughout two seasons and screened for bacteria. Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) was used to place the bacterial isolates in groups and a subset of each ARDRA group was established using 16S rRNA gene fragment sequencing. Results showed gram-negative organisms as the prevailing bacteria while y-Proteobacteria was identified most frequently. Also, bacterial contamination of the taphole increased to higher levels as the season progressed.

"These results are providing interesting insights into maple taphole microflora that will be useful for further investigations of phenomena related to microbial contamination and quality of maple products and also of microbial control strategies," say the researchers.

(L. Lagace, M. Pitre, M. Jacques, D. Roy. 2004. Identification of the bacterial community of maple sap by using amplified ribosomal DNA (rDNA) restriction analysis and rDNA sequencing. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70. 4: 2052-5060.)

DNA VACCINE MAY PROTECT AGAINST SMALLPOX

A DNA based vaccine may protect against smallpox say researchers from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Their findings appear in the May 2004 issue of the Journal of Virology.

"All viruses in the genus Orthopoxvirus, family Poxviridae, including VACV (the virus used in th
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
16-Apr-2004


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