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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Sep;64(9):3246-55.

Rapid determination of bacterial abundance, biovolume, morphology, and growth by neural network-based image analysis

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  • 1Marine Biological Laboratory, DK-3000 Helsingor, Denmark.

Abstract

Annual bacterial plankton dynamics at several depths and locations in the Baltic Sea were studied by image analysis. Individual bacteria were classified by using an artificial neural network which also effectively identified nonbacterial objects. Cell counts and frequencies of dividing cells were determined, and the data obtained agreed well with visual observations and previously published values. Cell volumes were measured accurately by comparison with bead standards. The survey included 690 images from a total of 138 samples. Each image contained approximately 200 bacteria. The images were analyzed automatically at a rate of 100 images per h. Bacterial abundance exhibited coherent patterns with time and depth, and there were distinct subsurface peaks in the summer months. Four distinct morphological classes were resolved by the image analyzer, and the dynamics of each could be visualized. The bacterial growth rates estimated from frequencies of dividing cells were different from the bacterial growth rates estimated by the thymidine incorporation method. With minor modifications, the image analysis technique described here can be used to analyze other planktonic classes.

PMID:
9726867
PMCID:
PMC106717
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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