At -31 days from the depart, the team of the BioSWOT-Med campaign installed the flow cytometer on the R/V l’Atalante. It will be one of two such instruments used during the campaign.
At -31 days from its own departure, scheduled on 20/04/2023, Morgane Didry and Gérald Grégori from the team of the BioSWOT-Med campaign installed an automated flow cytometer on the R/V l’Atalante, at the ship homeport of La-Seyne-sur-Mer. The flow cytometer will be used by the team of the SWEM–SWOT 2023 campaign that takes place from 20/03 to 18/04/2023 in the western Mediterranean Sea.
During the BioSWOT-Med campaign, two types of flow cytometers will be used. The one seen in the picture is called “Cytopro” (Cytobuoy b.v.) and another one called “Cytoflex” (Beckman Coulter)”. They complement each other in order to distinguish and study the different components of the planktonic communities (phytoplankton, bacterioplankton, viruses).
Flow Cytometry is a technology developed in the 1970s to count blood cells. It is now widely used in biological oceanography to count planktonic cells, which can be automatically detected and distinguished based on their specific optical characteristics (based on light diffusion and fluorescence emission).
In a future post, Morgane Dridy (engineer at MIO) will tell us everything about flow cytometry: how it works and how it can be used to distinguish plankton cells!
For the moment, we leave you with a picture that shows the output from a water sample from sea water near the port of La-Seyne-sur-Mer: how many plankton groups can you count?
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