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Processing samples of benthic marine diatoms from Mediterranean oligotrophic areas
Vermeulen, S.; Lepoint, G.; Gobert, S. (2012). Processing samples of benthic marine diatoms from Mediterranean oligotrophic areas. J. Appl. Phycol. 24(5): 1253-1260. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10811-011-9770-4
In: Journal of Applied Phycology. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0921-8971, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279185 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Bacillariophyta [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Bacillariophyta; Methods; Cell losses; Cleaning techniques;Silicification

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Abstract
    The processing of benthic diatoms is tedious and involves several potentially damaging steps for cells. Although the preservation of siliceous frustules is of paramount importance in the implementation of biotic indices, only few studies quantified treatment-induced cell losses. We assumed that commonly used treatments may lead to mechanical (centrifugation, sedimentation, boiling, sonication and mounting in Naphrax) and chemical (cold H2O2 digestion) damages on diatoms. We analysed the potential adverse effects of these treatments and the cleaning efficiency of H2O2 and incineration in order to find out the most suitable technique to process lightly silicified Mediterranean populations. Results showed that successive resuspensions of material after each concentration treatment (sedimentation and centrifugation) and low speed centrifugation did not alter the physical integrity of frustules. In contrast, boiling and sonication exhibited adverse effects especially on the preservation of large frustules and Naphrax mounting proved to be the most damaging step whatever the size of diatoms. For cleaning treatments, incineration provided the most satisfactory results and acted on a non-selective way as opposed to hydrogen peroxide which led to either a large number of non-cleaned frustules or dissolved valves. Our recommendations for processing samples of lightly silicified Mediterranean benthic diatoms include the use of low-speed centrifugations, dehydration at room temperature, incineration and dry mounting.

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