The identification and classification of microbial flora in bodies of fresh water has the potential of enhancing our understanding of this ecosystem and improving water management and bioremediation. This effort may be facilitated by the use of remote sensing technologies. For the last 3 years our undergraduate students have collected water samples in the Lake Ontario Rochester Embayment and Irondequoit Bay with the goal of constructing a database of bacterial species and water parameters (e.g. organic matter and chlorophyl content). Such a database is necessary to establish potential correlations between the presence of certain bacterial species and water parameters that can be measured using satellite imagery collected by the Landsat 8 OLI and TIRS sensors. In the past we reported initial efforts at mapping the distribution of bacterial species using 16S rRNA. Here we present our results for the summer of 2015 and present a compounded analysis of 3 consecutive summers. Of approximately 450 bacterial isolates, we have cultured and identified more than 40 different species spanning over 20 genera. Several fish and human pathogens were identified, and antibiotic-resistance profiles determined. Year to year variation of the flora’s composition at individual locations has emerged as the main challenge in establishing reproducible patterns that may be linked to satellite measurements.
Zimmerman, Daniel; Moore, Laura; Concha, J. A.; Raqueño, N.; Herman, Maryann; and Ontiveros, Fernando, "Building a Freshwater Bacterial Flora Database for Remote Sensing Applications" (2016). Undergraduate External Publications. Paper 10.
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