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Planktonic microbial community composition in estuarine waters of southeastern North Carolina as determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization



Planktonic microbial community composition in estuarine waters of southeastern North Carolina as determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization



Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology 103: N-146



Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes was used to examine the abundance and distribution of planktonic microorganisms within the Cape Fear River Estuary, Wilmington, NC. This black water river system is a drowned river valley estuary with a partially mixed salinity structure. Recent studies have shown the ubiquitous nature of marine and freshwater Archaea in "non-extreme" environments with several groups of Archaea being common components of marine assemblages in both shallow and deep waters. The application of FISH for the quantification of microorganisms within the natural environment is well established, yet little is known of the abundance and distribution of planktonic Archaea within the estuarine setting. To quantify the distribution and abundance of Archaea within an estuarine environment, water samples were collected monthly from three sites at both surface and depth for a twelve month time period. Site salinity varied from nearly freshwater at apprx0 ppt to nearly full strength saltwater at apprx35 ppt. Samples were filtered onto membrane filters and analyzed using domain-specific oligonucleotide probes to classify marine planktonic organisms to the domains Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea and the subdomain Archaeal levels of Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota using group-specific oligonucleotide probes. Total microbial direct count was performed using DAPI (4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole). Salinity, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen were measured at the time of sample to correlate abundance and distribution of the planktonic microorganisms to physical parameters. Using FISH, the presence of planktonic Archaea has been detected within the Cape Fear River Estuary. Archaea were found in every sample but comprised only a minor portion of the total microbial population. The domain Bacteria comprised the greatest portion of total microbial population while the domains Eukarya and Archaea were less abundant and similar in proportion. Preliminary data suggests that both Archaeal subdomains were present with Crenarchaeota being slightly more abundant during the winter season.

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Accession: 035506250

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