Distribution and Diversity of Coliform Bacteria in Estuary of Jiahe River, China

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Yantai Institute of Costal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, China


Waterborne outbreaks of pathogenic bacteria from contaminated water are serious threats for
public health. Coliform bacteria have been regarded as one of the most important indicators for monitoring
pathogenic bacteria. To address potential pathogenic bacterial outbreaks, the distribution and diversity of
coliform bacteria in Jiahe river, which flows through densely-populated urban area in China, were detected.
Escherichia Coli and other coliform bacteria were counted using the membrane filter technique to describe the distribution of the coliform bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis was applied to investigate the diversity of the
coliform bacteria. The results suggested that the quantities of coliform bacteria varied greatly between five
sampling sites with the highest value at site YT4 and the lowest value at site YT2. Highest concentrations of
E. coli and other coliform bacteria were also observed at YT4, while the lowest value was detected at sites YT3 and YT2, respectively. Various coliform bacteria were classified by phylogenetic analysis, including Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and Raoultella. Components of coliform bacteria affiliated into these four genera were various in all sampling sites. The statistical analysis suggested that the distribution of coliform bacteria were remarkably influenced by total bacteria amount. Multiple environmental parameters were proved to affect the diversity of coliform bacteria. The results of this study revealed the correlation between coliform bacteria and the environmental parameters, which is important for predicting and preventing waterborne transmission of pathogenic bacteria.