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Assessment of Microbial Community Structure in Estuarine Environments using Flow Cytometry

PI: Brian Binder, Dept of Marine Sciences, Univ of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

Support: Georgia Sea Grant College Program (R/AT-2)

Timeframe: 3/1/97 - 6/1/98 (complete)

Project Overview:
To develop methods using flow cytometry and DNA-specific fluorescent stains to detect and enumerate different bacterial groups based on their DNA base composition.


  • Sample preservation and staining protocols were developed and found to be satisfactory for all bacterial strains examined. These strains included: Altermonas macleodii (%G+C = 46), Escherichia coli [used as a control](%G+C = 50%), Delaya venusta (%G+C = 54%), Pseudomonas doudoroffii (%G+C = 60%), Sagittula stellata (65%), and Delaya pacifica (%G+C = 68%). The DNA stains Hoechst 33342 (HO) and Chromomycin A3 (CA3) were used as AT- and GC-specific markers, respectively.
  • The strong correlation between the measured CA3:HO ratios and %G+C suggests that this analytical approach holds considerable promise.


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This page was updated October 13, 2006