Alber, M. University of Georgia, malber@arches.uga.edu
Thoresen, M. University of Georgia, thoresen@arches.uga.edu

 
VISUALIZING MUCUS ALONG AN ESTUARINE GRADIENT
 
Although exopolysaccharides have long been known to be associated with bacteria and other aquatic organisms, they have proven difficult to visualize because they are highly hydrated compounds that are easily sheared off and are not well-preserved in traditional microscopic preparations. However, a combination of non-destructive sampling and confocal microscopic techniques can now be applied to this problem. We will describe the development of methods to visualize unconcentrated field samples with confocal microscopy, using SYTO dyes (Molecular Probes) to stain bacteria and fluorescently-conjugated lectins (Conconavalin A, Helix pomatia) to stain mucus. We applied these techniques to samples taken along a salinity gradient in the Satilla River estuary, Georgia. Our results suggest that as salinity increases, 1) the quantity of mucus (measured as transparent exopolymer particle concentration) decreases, and 2) the fine-scale structure of the mucus becomes more condensed.
 
Day: Monday, Feb. 1
Time: 03:45 - 04:00pm
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS17MO0345S