Detection of activity among uncultured Actinobacteria in a drinking water reservoir
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The abundance, identity and activity of uncultured Bacteria and Actinobacteria present in a drinking water reservoir (North Pine Dam, Brisbane, Australia) were determined using a combination of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) alone or with catalysed reporter deposition (CARD-FISH) with microautoradiography. The CARD-FISH technique was modified relative to previous described procedures and performed directly on gelatine cover slips in order to allow simultaneous combination with microautoradiography. Almost twofold higher numbers of microorganisms could be identified as either Bacteria or Actinobacteria using the CARD-FISH technique as compared with the traditional FISH technique. A combination of FISH or CARD-FISH with microautoradiography showed generally higher activity among the Actinobacteria than among all Bacteria. Another important observation was that many cells within the FISH-negative populations of both Actinobacteria and Bacteria were actively assimilating thymidine. Thus, great care should be taken when extrapolating the active fraction of a prokaryotic community to be equivalent to the FISH-detectable population in such environments. Bacterial groups within Actinobacteria produce the odours geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol, which lower the quality of surface water when used for drinking. The results indicate that combined microautoradiography and CARD-FISH may serve as an effective tool when studying identity and activity of microorganisms within freshwater environments.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology