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Title (Primary) Fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) of microorganisms in hydrocarbon contaminated aquifer sediment samples
Author Tischer, K.; Zeder, M.; Klug, R.; Pernthaler, J.; Schattenhofer, M.; Harms, H.; Wendeberg, A.;
Journal Systematic and Applied Microbiology
Year 2012
Department UMB;
Volume 35
Issue 8
Language englisch;
Keywords CARD-FISH; hydrocarbon contamination; aquifer

Groundwater ecosystems are the most important sources of drinking water worldwide but they are threatened by contamination and overexploitation. Petroleum spills account for the most common source of contamination and the high carbon load results in anoxia and steep geochemical gradients. Microbes play a major role in the transformation of petroleum hydrocarbons into less toxic substances. To investigate microbial populations at the single cell level, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is now a well-established technique. Recently, however, catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD)-FISH has been introduced for the detection of microbes from oligotrophic environments. Nevertheless, petroleum contaminated aquifers present a worst case scenario for FISH techniques due to the combination of high background fluorescence of hydrocarbons and the presence of small microbial cells caused by the low turnover rates characteristic of groundwater ecosystems. It is therefore not surprising that studies of microorganisms from such sites are mostly based on cultivation techniques, fingerprinting, and amplicon sequencing. However, to reveal the population dynamics and interspecies relationships of the key participants of contaminant degradation, FISH is an indispensable tool. In this study, a protocol for FISH was developed in combination with cell quantification using an automated counting microscope. The protocol includes the separation and purification of microbial cells from sediment particles, cell permeabilization and, finally, CARD-FISH in a microwave oven. As a proof of principle, the distribution of Archaea and Bacteria was shown in 60 sediment samples taken across the contaminant plume of an aquifer (Leuna, Germany), which has been heavily contaminated with several ten-thousand tonnes of petroleum hydrocarbons since World War II.

ID 12393
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Tischer, K., Zeder, M., Klug, R., Pernthaler, J., Schattenhofer, M., Harms, H., Wendeberg, A. (2012):
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) of microorganisms in hydrocarbon contaminated aquifer sediment samples
Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 35 (8), 526 - 532