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77 > Image 77 of Annual report. 1916

Part of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station

l l l i 64 Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the l c RESEARCH j V 1 S l By A. M. PETER, Acting Head. ; it I e ..1. ' t l 1 The work of the Department of Research was under the a general guidance and control of the late Director Joseph H. c Kastle from the time of its establishment until his death, in September last. ln addition to the research work already { referred to in the presentation of the reports of the several de- 1 C partments, many interesting lines of work, most of them sug- ; { gested by Dr. Kastle. have been carried out by Messrs. Healy. , { Buckner, Shedd and Mellargue, of this department, a brief syn- ] opsis of which is here presented as the report of the Depart- H ment of Research. S The study ot the action of bacteria and yeasts in rendering 1 the potassium of soil silicates soluble has been vigorously prose- U euted. The chemistry department eo-operated with the re- C search department in this work, Dr. Healy and Mr. Gott doing the baetcriologieal part, while Drs. Blumenthal and Peter tool: C care of the chemical part. A large number of experiments were S made to test the solvent action ot bacterial cultures upon the min- erals phlogopite. muscovite. biotite. and orthoelase and upon (V the insoluble silicious residue from the digestion of soils in acid. ,, Au appreciable positive action was observed in a majority of the ` { experiments. The production of a suitable synthetic medium { for these cultures has required considerable experimentation. S The work of isolating and identifying various soil bacteria for T use in these experiments is being; prosecuted. I A series of comparative experiments was made upon the 1 nitrilication of ammonium sulfate, potassium cyanide and sodium 1 axid, by soil. It appeared that, while the ammonia salt wai I nitritied, when used in suitable dilution. the cyanide was only