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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2003 Dec;22(12):2840-4.

Combination of microautoradiography and fluorescence in situ hybridization for identification of microorganisms degrading xenobiotic contaminants.

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ETH Zurich, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Soil Biology, Grabenstrasse 3, 8952 Schlieren, Switzerland.


One of the central topics in environmental bioremediation research is to identify microorganisms that are capable of degrading the contaminants of interest. Here we report application of combined microautoradiography (MAR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The method has previously been used in a number of systems; however, here we demonstrate its feasibility in studying the degradation of xenobiotic compounds. With a model system (coculture of Pseudomonas putida B2 and Sphingomonas stygia incubated with [14C] o-nitrophenol), combination of MAR and FISH was shown to be able to successfully identify the microorganisms degrading o-nitrophenol. Compared with the conventional techniques, MAR-FISH allows fast and accurate identification of the microorganisms involved in environmental contaminant degradation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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