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A transportable containerised laboratory for rapid cell sorting and high-resolution bioimaging of living aquatic microbes in field locations

Funding: 2013: $580,000

Project Member(s): Doblin, M., Seymour, J., Ralph, P., Vigneswaran, S., Whitchurch, C., Murray, S., Ostrowski, M.

Funding or Partner Organisation: University of Tasmania
Macquarie University
University of New South Wales (The University of New South Wales Partnership Fund)
Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage Infrastructure)
University of Western Australia (The University of Western Australia)
Taylor Brothers (Slipway & Engineering) Pty Ltd
BD Advanced Cytometry

Start year: 2013

Summary: Microbes sustain life on Earth, yet are poorly understood in the marine and aquatic realms due to inadequacies of current field-based methods - researchers must kill or cryopreserve microbes, rather than study living cells. This proposal will overcome this problem by delivering a purpose-built, transportable, live cell analysis laboratory that will house a high-speed BD Influx Mariner rapid sorting flow cytometer and a BD Pathway 855 high-resolution bioimager, to analyse living microbes on location. In an Australian first, this laboratory will facilitate an unprecedented level of discovery of microbial function for leading marine and aquatic researchers, knowledge that is essential to safeguard the health of our planet.


McInnes, AS, Laczka, OF, Baker, KG, Larsson, ME, Robinson, CM, Clark, JS, Laiolo, L, Alvarez, M, Laverock, B, Kremer, CT, van Sebille, E & Doblin, MA 2019, 'Live cell analysis at sea reveals divergent thermal performance between photosynthetic ocean microbial eukaryote populations', The ISME Journal, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 1374-1378.
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Baker, KG, Radford, DT, Evenhuis, C, Kuzhiumparam, U, Ralph, PJ & Doblin, MA 2018, 'Thermal niche evolution of functional traits in a tropical marine phototroph', Journal of Phycology, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 799-810.
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Keywords: microbial ecology,marine biogeochemistry,ecogenomics

FOR Codes: Microbial Ecology, Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments, Biological Oceanography, Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments, Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity, Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems, Marine biodiversity