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Analysis of sample preparation procedures for enumerating fecal coliforms in coarse southwestern U.S. bottom sediments by the most-probable-number method.

By J D Doyle, B Tunnicliff, R E Kramer and S K Brickler

Abstract

The determination of bacterial densities in aquatic sediments generally requires that a dilution-mixing treatment be used before enumeration of organisms by the most-probable-number fermentation tube method can be done. Differential sediment and organism settling rates may, however, influence the distribution of the microbial population after the dilution-mixing process, resulting in biased bacterial density estimates. For standardization of sample preparation procedures, the influence of settling by suspended sediments on the fecal coliform distribution in a mixing vessel was examined. This was accomplished with both inoculated (Escherichia coli) and raw, uninoculated freshwater sediments from Saguaro Lake, Ariz. Both test sediments were coarse (greater than 90% gravel and sand). Coarse sediments are typical of southwestern U.S. lakes. The distribution of fecal coliforms, as determined by the most-probable-number method, was not significantly influenced by sediment settling and remained homogenous over a 16-min postmix period. The technique developed for coarse sediments may be useful for standardizing sample preparation techniques for other sediment types

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1984
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:241636
Provided by: PubMed Central
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