From Winogradsky's column to contemporary research using bacterial microcosms

O. Moshynets, M. Boretska, Andrew J. Spiers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


The fast pace of scientific research often means that contemporary investigators are unaware of critical developments resulting from the work of previous generations of scientists. We were superficially aware of Sergei Winogradsky (1856 – 1953) through his columns, currently in teaching to illustrate aspects of microbial succession and community function, but were unaware of his importance as the founder of microbial ecology and the first to use microcosms to study bacterial physiology. Here we take the opportunity to remind fellow microbiologists of his work, presenting in homage columns constructed using water and sediments from the Dnipro (Dnieper) collected close to his place of birth. We then provide a review of our own research using microcosms to investigate aspects of plant-bacterial interactions, bacterial evolution, biofilm-formation, and soil colonization, as well as recent advances in developing plastic and transparent soils to investigate root development and fungal hyphae invasion in soil pore networks, to show that more than one hundred years after the invention of the microcosm, they are still being used profitably in microbial research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrocosms
Subtitle of host publicationecology, biological implications and environmental impact
EditorsChristopher C. Harris
Place of PublicationHauppauge, NY
PublisherNova Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9781626186620
ISBN (Print)9781626186613
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameMicrobiology Research Advances
PublisherNova Publishers

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    Moshynets, O., Boretska, M., & Spiers, A. J. (2013). From Winogradsky's column to contemporary research using bacterial microcosms. In C. C. Harris (Ed.), Microcosms: ecology, biological implications and environmental impact (Microbiology Research Advances). Nova Publishers.