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The Water Framework Directive (WFD) regulates freshwater and coastal water quality assessment in Europe. Chemical and ecological water quality status is based on measurements of chemical pollutants in water and biota together with other indicators such as temperature, nutrients, species compositions (phytoplankton, microalgae, benthos and fish) and hydromorphological conditions. However, in the current strategy a link between the chemical and the ecological status is missing. In the present WFD, no microbiological indicators are foreseen for integrating the different anthropogenic pressures, including mixtures of chemicals, nutrients and temperature changes, to provide a holistic view of the freshwater ecosystem water quality. The main aim of this work was to evaluate if natural microbial populations can be valuable indicators of multiple stressors (e.g. chemical pollutants, temperature, nutrients etc.) to guide preventive and remediation actions by water authorities. A preliminary survey was conducted to identify four sites reflecting a contamination gradient from the source to the mouth of a river suitable to the objectives of the European Marie Curie project, MicroCoKit. The River Tiber (Italy) was selected as a pilot case study to investigate the correlation between bacteria taxa and the chemical status of the river. The main physicochemical parameters, inorganic elements, organic pollutants and natural microbial community composition were assessed at four selected sites corresponding to pristine, agricultural, industrial and urban areas for three consecutive years. The overall chemical results indicated a correspondence between different groups of contaminants and the main contamination sources at the selected sampling points. Phylogenetic analysis of the microbial community analyzed by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization method (FISH) revealed differences among the four sampling sites which could reflect an adaptive bacterial response to the different anthropogenic pressures.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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A type of IN SITU HYBRIDIZATION in which target sequences are stained with fluorescent dye so their location and size can be determined using fluorescence microscopy. This staining is sufficiently distinct that the hybridization signal can be seen both in metaphase spreads and in interphase nuclei.
The simultaneous identification of all chromosomes from a cell by fluorescence in situ hybridization (IN SITU HYBRIDIZATION, FLUORESCENCE) with chromosome-specific florescent probes that are discerned by their different emission spectra.
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY techniques used in the diagnosis of disease. Included are such techniques as IN SITU HYBRIDIZATION of chromosomes for CYTOGENETIC ANALYSIS; OLIGONUCLEOTIDE ARRAY SEQUENCE ANALYSIS of gene expression patterns in disease states; identification of pathogenic organisms by analysis of species specific DNA sequences; and detection of mutations with POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION.
Mixtures of many components in inexact proportions, usually natural, such as PLANT EXTRACTS; VENOMS; and MANURE. These are distinguished from DRUG COMBINATIONS which have only a few components in definite proportions.
Synthetic or natural oligonucleotides used in hybridization studies in order to identify and study specific nucleic acid fragments, e.g., DNA segments near or within a specific gene locus or gene. The probe hybridizes with a specific mRNA, if present. Conventional techniques used for testing for the hybridization product include dot blot assays, Southern blot assays, and DNA:RNA hybrid-specific antibody tests. Conventional labels for the probe include the radioisotope labels 32P and 125I and the chemical label biotin.
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