Prokaryotic community analysis with CARD-FISH in comparison with FISH in ultra-oligotrophic ground- and drinking water

I. Wilhartitz, R. L. Mach, E. Teira, T. Reinthaler, G. J. Herndl, A. H. Farnleitner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

30 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: We compared the applicability of catalysed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) and FISH to enumerate prokaryotic populations in ultra-oligotrophic alpine groundwaters and bottled mineral water Methods and Results: Fluorescent oligonucleotide probes EUB338 and EUB338mix (EUB338/EUB338-II/EUB338-III) were used to enumerate bacteria and probes EURY806 and CREN537 for Euryarchaea and Crenarchaea, respectively. Improved detection of Planctomycetales by probe EUB338-II was tested using a different permeabilization step (proteinase K instead of lysozyme). Total detection efficiency of cells in spring water of four different alpine karst aquifers was on average 83% for CARD-FISH and only 15% for FISH. Applying CARD-FISH on bottled natural mineral waters resulted in an average total hybridization efficiency of 89%, with 78% (range 77-96%) bacteria and 11% (range 3-22%) identified as Archaea. Conclusions: CARD-FISH resulted in substantially higher recovery efficiency than FISH. Hence, CARD-FISH appears very suitable for the enumeration of specific prokaryotic groups in ground- and drinking water. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study represents the first evaluation of CARD-FISH on ultra-oligotrophic ground- and drinking water. Results are relevant for basic research and drinking water distributors. Archaea can comprise a significant fraction of the prokaryotic community in bottled mineral water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-881
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Archaea
  • Bacteria
  • Drinking water
  • FISH
  • Oligotrophic ground- and mineral water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prokaryotic community analysis with CARD-FISH in comparison with FISH in ultra-oligotrophic ground- and drinking water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this