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The biomass of bacteria in various waters can be estimated by measuring the amount of cellular bound lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS, which is present in the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria, including cyanobacteria, can be quantitated by using an extract of Limulus amebocytes. In one special environment, an oceanic water column below the euphotic zone, the results of the LPS technique agreed very well with those of the direct count and adenosine triphosphate techniques for measuring bacterial biomass.
aquatic bacteria, bacteria, biomass, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), direct counts, oceans, Limulus, amebocyte lysate
Senior scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass.
Senior scientist, The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass.