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The present state of technology associated with the extraction and quantification of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from aquatic samples is considered. A brief examination of the history of the method is presented, and data available from studies designed to determine the level of ATP in some aquatic environments are presented in a comparative manner. The possible interference of guanosine triphosphate in the assay procedure as well as irregularities produced by altering the luciferin concentration employed in the assay are described. Procedures currently employed for the extraction and measurement of ATP as an indication of microbial biomass are given.
aquatic bacteria, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), luciferin, guanosine triphosphate, luciferase, microbial biomass, bacteria, phytoplankton
Associate professor, University of South Carolina, and Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
Research assistant, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
Assistant professor, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va.