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International Journal of Environment Science and Technology
Center for Environment and Energy Research and Studies (CEERS)
ISSN: 1735-1472
EISSN: 1735-2630
Vol. 11, No. 5, 2014, pp. 1487-1496
Bioline Code: st14145
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 5, 2014, pp. 1487-1496

 en Microbial diversity in waters, sediments and microbial mats evaluated using fatty acid-based methods
Mrozik, A.; Nowak, A. & Piotrowska-Seget, Z.


The review summarises recent advances towards a greater comprehensive assessment of microbial diversity in aquatic environments using the fatty acid methyl esters and phospholipid fatty acids approaches. These methods are commonly used in microbial ecology because they do not require the culturing of micro-organisms, are quantitative and reproducible and provide valuable information regarding the structure of entire microbial communities. Because some fatty acids are associated with taxonomic and functional groups of micro-organisms, they allow particular groups of micro-organisms to be distinguished. The integration of fatty acid-based methods with stable isotopes, RNA and DNA analyses enhances our knowledge of the role of micro-organisms in global nutrient cycles, functional activity and phylogenetic lineages within microbial communities. Additionally, the analysis of fatty acid profiles enables the shifts in the microbial diversity in pristine and contaminated environments to be monitored. The main objective of this review is to present the use of lipid-based approaches for the characterisation of microbial communities in water columns, sediments and biomats.

Biodiversity; Biomarker fatty acids; Community structure; Microbial biomass

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