Comparison of techniques to determine the abundance of predatory bacteria attacking chromatiaceae

Isabel Esteve, Núria Gaju, Joan Mir, Ricardo Guerrero

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This work quantifies the number of bacterial predators attacking the population of Chromatiaceae in the hypolimnion of Lake Estanya to assess the potential role of these microorganisms in controlling phototrophic bacterial populations. The abundance of predators was estimated from total counts of infected prey cells and by counting plaque-forming units. In spite of the large difference between both determinations, their variations with depth and time followed very similar patterns. During the summer, in the hypolimnion, and during the winter in the entire lake, up to 60% of the prey cells had potential predators attached. In comparison, plaque counts showed that viable predators represented less than 1% of the population of the prey. Our results demonstrated that predatory bacteria were far more abundant than indicated by the low viable counts obtained, suggesting that they play a more important role in controlling phototrophic bacterial populations than is currently assumed. © 1992.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992


  • Chromatium
  • Plaque-forming units
  • Predatory bacteria
  • Scanning electron microscopy


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