Dynamic changes in the population structure of Escherichia coli in the Yeongsan River basin of South Korea

Jeonghwan Jang, Doris Y.W. Di, Dukki Han, Tatsuya Unno, Jeom Ho Lee, Michael J. Sadowsky, Hor Gil Hur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although Escherichia coli has been used as an indicator to examine fecal contamination of aquatic environment, it also has been reported to become naturalized to secondary habitats, including soil, water and beach sand. A total of 2880 E. coli isolates obtained from surface water and sediment samples from the Yeongsan River in 2013 were genotyped by using the horizontal fluorophore-enhanced rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting technique. Although different E. coli genotypic groups were observed between surface water and sediments in the dry season, they were mingled and undifferentiated from each other in the rainy season. This indicates that there are frequent sediment resuspension events in the river basin. Moreover, the genotypic composition of the E. coli population in the Yeongsan River basin changes over months and years, implying that genotypic structure of E. coli populations dynamically fluctuates in the river environment. Consequently, our data suggests that the use of E. coli libraries for fecal source tracking needs to be reassessed to account for the changing structure of riverine E. coli populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFEMS microbiology ecology
Volume91
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Escherichia coli
  • Genotypic alteration
  • Population genetics
  • Rep-PCR
  • River

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