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Chemical Extraction of Microorganisms from Water-Saturated, Packed Sediment

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Microbial characterization of aquifers should combine collection of suspended and attached microorganisms (biofilms). This study investigated chemical extraction of microorganisms from water-saturated, packed sediment containing established biofilms. It compares the use of different detachment-promoting agent (DPA) solutions with tap water as eluent in column experiments. Extraction efficiency was determined from cell concentrations in the column effluent. Adenosine triphosphate concentrations were measured to confirm cell extraction and as an indicator of cell membrane integrity. Quality of extracted bacterial communities was assessed by comparing their terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles with destructively sampled sediment-community profiles. Extraction efficiency increased more than 8-fold when deionized water, D-amino acids, or enzymes were used as a DPA. Community profiles recovered by individual DPA solutions showed more pronounced differences at the level of rare microbial groups, whereas abundant groups appeared ubiquitous across treatments. These results suggest that comparison of communities extracted by different DPAs can provide improved information on the occurrence of rare microbial groups in biofilms.
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Keywords: adenosine triphosphate (ATP); biofilm; detachment; flow cytometry; sediment; terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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