A novel technique, combining labelling and stereological methods, for the determination of spatial distribution of two microorganisms in a biofilm is presented. Cells of Nitrosomonas europaea (ATCC 19718) and Nitrobacter agilis (ATCC 14123) were homogeneously distributed in a κ-carrageenan gel during immobilization and allowed to grow out to colonies. The gel beads were sliced in thin cross sections after fixation and embedding. A two-step labelling method resulted in green fluorescent colonies of either N. europaea or N. agilis in the respective cross sections. The positions and surface areas of the colonies of each species were determined, and from that a biomass volume distribution for N. europaea and N. agilis in κ-carrageenan gel beads was estimated. This technique will be useful for the validation of biofilm models, which predict such biomass distributions.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|