A device for assesing microbial activity under ambient hydrostatic pressure: The in situ microbial incubator (ISMI)
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AuthorsAmano, C. (Chie); Reinthaler, T. (Thomas); Sintes, E. (Eva); Varela, M.M. (Marta María); Stefanschitz, J. (Julia); Kaneko, S. (Sho)
Activity rate measurement of microbes
Microbes in the dark ocean are exposed to hydrostatic pressure increasing with depth. Activity rate measurements and biomass production of dark ocean microbes are, however, almost exclusively performed under atmospheric pressure conditions due to technical constraints of sampling equipment maintaining in situ pressure conditions. To evaluate the microbial activity under in situ hydrostatic pressure, we designed and thoroughly tested an in situ microbial incubator (ISMI). The ISMI allows autonomously collecting and incubating seawater at depth, injection of substrate and fixation of the samples after a preprogramed incubation time. The performance of the ISMI was tested in a high-pressure tank and in several field campaigns under ambient hydrostatic pressure by measuring prokaryotic bulk 3H-leucine incorporation rates. Overall, prokaryotic leucine incorporation rates were lower at in situ pressure conditions than under to depressurized conditions reaching only about 50% of the heterotrophic ...
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