A. Solé, N. Gaju, I. Esteve

Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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Summary: We recently published a method for estimating cyanobacteria biomass in delta microbial mats from the Ebro river using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The present paper uses this method for identifying different groups of cyanobacteria and for determining their biomass dynamics. Microcoleus chthonoplastes and the Lyngbya-Oscillatoria were the most important contributors to the cyanobacterial biomass throughout the study. Biomass values ranged from 1.29 to 6.55 mgC/cm2 sediment for Microcoleus chthonoplastes, and from 128 µgC/cm2 to 3.16 mgC/cm2 sediment for Lyngbya-Oscillatoria. This technique is useful for determining biomass and for studying filamentous cyanobacteria as well as ramified eukaryotic cells. Confocal serial sections through the samples can be obtained. Two-dimensional images from the samples can be used to calculate the biomass of individual cells.

Key words: cyanobacteria, microbial mats, confocal laser scanning microscopy, biomass, dynamics

PACS: 07.60.-j, 07.60.Vg, 07.68.+m