Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The occurrence of selenium in soils of the United States and its cinnection with a disease of livestock originally called selenium poisoning , is well established. The states of North Dakota and South Dakota have both reported areas of land on which the disease occurs. In 1954, soil samples (from areas in South Dakota in which there is solenium poisoning) we've brought to the South Dakota State College Experiment Stot1on for analysis. From one of those samples, a bacterium was found which was noted as being resistant to the toxicity of selenium and also as being capable of reducing sodium selenite to the elemental form. In the process of this reduction, a foul odor described as resembling that of garlic or of rotten radishes was noted and at that time attributed to either hydrogen selenide or dimethyl selenide, both compounds having odors which resemble that of garlic. Little work was done in attempting to identify this organism except to attempt growth on silica gel, eosin methylene blue agar and soil patties.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soil microbiology
Soil -- Selenium content


Includes bibliographical references (page 33-34)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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