USGS Georgia Water Science Center

USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5004

Sharing of Ribotype Patterns of Escherichia Coli Isolates During Baseflow and Stormflow Conditions

This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS SIR 2004-5004 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )

Peter G. Hartel, Elizabeth A. Frick, Adrienne L. Funk, Jennifer L. Hill, Jacob D. Summer, and M. Brian Gregory

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5004; 10 pages and interactive map (Published 2004)


Factors affecting bacterial source tracking are important to understand because they affect the amount of sampling needed to describe fecal sources in a watershed adequately. The study area was a 76-kilometer reach of the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Escherichia coli was isolated from water samples collected during baseflow and stormflow conditions from four mainstem and eight tributary sites; 262 isolates were ribotyped and assessed for their similarity. The vast majority of the E. coli ribotype patterns were unshared, whether the comparisons were between baseflow and stormflow conditions at one location, or between one location and another. The data suggest that either baseflow and stormflow conditions affected sharing of ribotype patterns, or that the sample size was too small to characterize the sharing adequately. Regardless, the results suggest that a large sampling of E. coli isolates is needed during various flow conditions from watersheds with complex land-use patterns for adequate bacterial source tracking.




Materials and Methods

Study area

Water sampling

Selection and identification of E. coli isolates from water

DNA extraction, quantification, and ribotyping of E. coli isolates

Statistical analysis








This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS SIR 2004-5004 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )

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