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Total bacterial populations in three lentic water bodies of the Colombian Andes using the epifluorescence technique

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The epifluorescence technique was used to quantify the total bacterial population in two dams (Neusa and Prado) and in a natural lagoon (Fúquene), which have different geographical locations and physicochemical characteristics. Bacterial abundance was similar in the three water-bodies (8.4 × 108 cells L–1), but the density of plateable heterotrophs was always lower (1.4 × 106 CFU L–1) when obtained by the plate count method. Results obtained during validation of the epifluorescence technique show: (i) that there are no statistically significant differences between counts of samples fixed in the field and unfixed samples; (ii) that the median count of samples fixed and observed periodically over a period of 8 months was similar; (iii) that plate counts underestimate the population; and (iv) that epifluorescence counts were similar in the three water-bodies studied, despite their different ecological conditions.

Keywords: Andean region; bacterioplankton; epifluorescence; plate counts

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Microbiology Laboratory and Scientific Research and Environmental Studies Center, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Carrera 4 no. 22–61, Bogotá, Colombia

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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