Survival of R. etli strains after vacuum-drying and subsequent storage at 28°C. R. etli wild-type and otsAch mutant were cultured at 28°C in minimal medium B- with 0.2 M NaCl until they reached early stationary phase: Desiccation was performed as described in Methods, using vacuum or vacuum + temperature conditions. After drying, samples were sealed and stored at 28°C. Viability was measured before (taken as 100% survival), just after drying, and after 4 days, 1, 2 and 3 weeks storage, and expressed as percentage of viable cells. Error bars indicate standard deviations.