NEW MOLECULAR TOOLS: APPLICATION OF THE µAQUA PHYLOCHIP AND CONCOMITANT FISH PROBES TO STUDY FRESHWATER PATHOGENS FROM SAMPLES TAKEN ALONG THE TIBER RIVER, ITALY
Free (open access)
109 - 122
LINDA K. MEDLIN, DELPHINE GUILLEBAULT, GERARDO MENGS, CARLOS GARBI, LAURA DEJANA, CARMEN FAJARDO, MARGARITA MARTIN
Current knowledge about aquatic pathogens are scarce because bacteria, protozoans, algae and their toxins occur at low concentrations, making them difficult to measure directly or to filter sufficient volumes to facilitate detection. We developed and validated tools to detect pathogens in freshwater systems. To evaluate impacts on water quality, a phylogenetic microarray was developed in the EU project μAQUA to detect simultaneously numerous pathogens and was applied in MicroCoKit, to samples taken from four locations from two seasons for two years along the length of the Tiber River, Italy. The sites ranged from a pristine site near its source to ones contaminated by agricultural, industrial and anthropogenic waste moving downstream to near its mouth. Fifty litres were collected and concentrated using a hollow-fibre ultrafiltration, a rapid method with minimal cell loss to provide a concentrate for downstream analysis. The 60 Da cut-off ensures many organics, such as toxins, will be concentrated for analysis. Aliquots from the concentrate were preserved in TRI-Reagent and total RNA extracted, labelled and hybridised to the phylochip to detect pathogenic bacteria, protozoa and toxic cyanobacteria. The microarray results gave positive signals for all pathogens. Calibration curves enabled us to infer cell concentrations. Cross validation was performed using FISH probes for selected toxic cyanobacteria and hybridised to aliquots taken from the raw water prior to concentration by the hollow fibre filters.
bacteria, cyanobacteria, hollow fibre filters, phylochips, monitoring, pathogens, protozoa