STP695

    Biochemical Measurements of Microbial Mass and Activity from Environmental Samples

    Published: Jan 1979


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    Abstract

    Accurate measurement of the mass and activities of environmental microbial assemblies requires methods that differ from those of classical microbiology. Using the leaf-litter detrital microflora recovered after incubation in a semitropical estuary, biochemical assays of multiple components can be made which give reasonably similar estimates of microbial mass, using normalization values from bacterial monocultures. The assays involve recovery of adenosine triphosphate, the unique bacterial cell wall mucopeptide component muramic acid, the uniquely prokaryotic endogenous storage material poly-β-hydroxybutyrate, a series of exoesterase activities, and the extractable lipids, primarily the phospholipids and the glycolipids. If the sampling conditions are such that incorporation of radiosotopes into the microflora is possible, these assays become extraordinarily sensitive. If radioisotope usage can be coupled with the purification of particular lipids, it is possible to gain information on the structure and dynamics of the microbial population.

    Keywords:

    aquatic bacteria, microbial mass, environmental microbial samples, poly-β-hydroxybutyrate, phospholipids, lipids, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), muramic acid, enzyme activity, esterase activity


    Author Information:

    White, DC
    Professor, graduate research assistant, chemist I, chemist I, and graduate research associate, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.

    Bobbie, RJ
    Professor, graduate research assistant, chemist I, chemist I, and graduate research associate, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.

    Herron, JS
    Professor, graduate research assistant, chemist I, chemist I, and graduate research associate, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.

    King, JD
    Professor, graduate research assistant, chemist I, chemist I, and graduate research associate, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.

    Morrison, SJ
    Professor, graduate research assistant, chemist I, chemist I, and graduate research associate, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.


    Paper ID: STP36005S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.24

    DOI: 10.1520/STP36005S


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