Effectiveness of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiling to determine sources of microbial pollution in Chester Creek Watershed (PI: M. Duran)

Actual hosts and their relative presence in Challenge Sample with Enterococcus
Actual hosts and their relative presence in Challenge Sample with Enterococcus

Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center (US GS grant)

Duration: 2007

Budget: $20,000

This study focused on microbial water quality and sources of indicator microorganisms in a small urban watershed, Goose Creek, located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Microbial water quality was monitored via cultivating and enumerating two indicator microorganisms, Fecal Coliform (FC) and Enterococcus. In addition, sources of fecal pollution were predicted using fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiling.

Predicted hosts and their relative presence in Challenge Sample with Enterococcus
Predicted hosts and their relative presence in Challenge Sample with Enterococcus

During the study, 136 Enterococcus and 138 FC isolates were cultured from 30 Goose Creek water samples collected from 6 characteristically different locations. The FAME profiles of total 274 isolates were constructed and then compared with the FAME profiles in two known-source libraries containing 668 Enterococcus and 466 FC isolates.