Using flow cytometry for counting natural planktonic bacteria and understanding the structure of planktonic bacterial communities
Keywords:heterotrophic and phototrophic bacteria, flow cytometry, counting bacteria, active bacteria
Flow cytometry is rapidly becoming a routine methodology in aquatic microbial ecology. The combination of simple to use bench-top flow cytometers and highly fluorescent nucleic acid stains allows fast and easy determination of microbe abundance in the plankton of lakes and oceans. The different dyes and protocols used to stain and count planktonic bacteria as well as the equipment in use are reviewed, with special attention to some of the problems encountered in daily routine practice such as fixation, staining and absolute counting. One of the main advantages of flow cytometry over epifluorescence microscopy is the ability to obtain cell-specific measurements in large numbers of cells with limited effort. We discuss how this characteristic has been used for differentiating photosynthetic from non-photosynthetic prokaryotes, for measuring bacterial cell size and nucleic acid content, and for estimating the relative activity and physiological state of each cell. We also describe how some of the flow cytometrically obtained data can be used to characterize the role of microbes on carbon cycling in the aquatic environment and we prospect the likely avenues of progress in the study of planktonic prokaryotes through the use of flow cytometry.
Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Gasol JM, del Giorgio PA. Using flow cytometry for counting natural planktonic bacteria and understanding the structure of planktonic bacterial communities. scimar [Internet]. 2000Jun.30 [cited 2023May31];64(2):197-224. Available from: https://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina/article/view/755
Copyright (c) 2000 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.© CSIC. Manuscripts published in both the printed and online versions of this Journal are the property of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, and quoting this source is a requirement for any partial or full reproduction.
All contents of this electronic edition, except where otherwise noted, are distributed under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International” (CC BY 4.0) License. You may read here the basic information and the legal text of the license. The indication of the CC BY 4.0 License must be expressly stated in this way when necessary.
Self-archiving in repositories, personal webpages or similar, of any version other than the published by the Editor, is not allowed.