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Detection of microbial disturbances in a drinking water microbial community through continuous acquisition and advanced analysis of flow cytometry data
Props, R.; Rubbens, P.; Besmer, M.; Buysschaert, B.; Sigrist, J.; Weilenmann, H.; Waegeman, W.; Boon, N.; Hammes, F. (2018). Detection of microbial disturbances in a drinking water microbial community through continuous acquisition and advanced analysis of flow cytometry data. Wat. Res. 145: 73-82. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.watres.2018.08.013
In: Water Research. Elsevier: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0043-1354; e-ISSN 1879-2448, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Fresh water
Author keywords
    Flow cytometry; Disturbance ecology; Drinking water; Fingerprinting; Microbial ecology

Authors  Top 
  • Props, R., more
  • Rubbens, P., more
  • Besmer, M.
  • Buysschaert, B.
  • Sigrist, J.
  • Weilenmann, H.
  • Waegeman, W., more
  • Boon, N., more
  • Hammes, F.

Abstract
    Detecting disturbances in microbial communities is an important aspect of managing natural and engineered microbial communities. Here, we implemented a custom-built continuous staining device in combination with real-time flow cytometry (RT-FCM) data acquisition, which, combined with advanced FCM fingerprinting methods, presents a powerful new approach to track and quantify disturbances in aquatic microbial communities. Through this new approach we were able to resolve various natural community and single-species microbial contaminations in a flow-through drinking water reactor. Next to conventional FCM metrics, we applied metrics from a recently developed fingerprinting technique in order to gain additional insight into the microbial dynamics during these contamination events. Importantly, we found that multiple community FCM metrics based on different statistical approaches were required to fully characterize all contaminations. Furthermore we found that for accurate cell concentration measurements and accurate inference from the FCM metrics (coefficient of variation ≤ 5%), at least 1000 cells should be measured, which makes the achievable temporal resolution a function of the prevalent bacterial concentration in the system-of-interest. The integrated RT-FCM acquisition and analysis approach presented herein provides a considerable improvement in the temporal resolution by which microbial disturbances can be observed and simultaneously provides a multi-faceted toolset to characterize such disturbances.

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