A strain-specific immunofluorescence assay for enumeration of a marine denitrifying bacterium was developed and applied in the marine environment. The polyclonal antiserum for Pseudomonas stutzeri (ATCC 14405) did not react with other pseudomonads, other heterotrophs, or autotrophic nitrifying strains. The abundance of P. stutzeri in the shallow water column of Monterey Bay was less than 0.1% of the total bacterial abundance and decreased with depth, whereas the total bacterial abundance was variable and nearly constant with depth. P. stutzeri was also detected in the sediments of a microbial mat from Tomales Bay. The relatively low contribution of P. stutzeri to the total bacterial abundance in both environments implies that it is not a major component of the heterotrophic assemblage. This conclusion appears to hold for most other strains for which specific assays have been applied in the marine environment. The isolation of several different denitrifying strains from local marine environments implies that the culturable population is quite diverse, even in the absence of different selective enrichment media. Thus, strain specific immunofluorescence is of limited use in quantifying functional groups of bacteria. Conversely, they provide specific information on the diversity of natural populations and their relation to culturable strains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Soil Science