The Microscopy and Image Analysis Facility at BIOS consists of an Olympus AX 70 microscope equipped with a Retiga Exi digital camera and Image Pro Plus 7.0 software. This equipment enables various users to perform state-of-the-art analysis at the cellular level. This facility is essential for undertaking fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) and catalyzed reporter deposition Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (CARD-FISH) analyses as part of the Microbial Ecology Laboratory. This facility is also used for bacterial and archaeal abundance measurements as well as nanoplankton and picoplankton identification and enumeration as part of the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS). Rachel Parsons, the Research Specialist responsible for this facility, has used the microscope in a variety of projects including viral dynamics at the BATS site, microbial communities within a seasonally anoxic sound, coral-microbe interactions and the effect of sewage pollution on coral reef environments. She is currently using this facility to investigate how the microbial community adapts to biogeochemical changes within the twilight zone of the Atlantic Ocean and how the microbial community adapts to oxygen limitation during periods of summer stratification at Devil’s Hole, Bermuda. BIOS-SCOPE, a new project investigating microbial interactions within the Sargasso Sea, will use this facility to investigate bacterioplankton (bacteria and archaea) dynamics in response to dissolved organic carbon sources in order to better understand the annual biogeochemical cycling of carbon in the ocean. In addition, visiting scientists have used this facility for polychaete worm identification, plankton identification, viral enumeration and image capture along with bacterioplankton abundance measurements.
Recently, a new inverted microscope--part of the BIOS Environmental Change Research Facility--was added to the Institute's suite of microscopy and imaging equipment. The Olympus IX83 microscope is equipped with phase contrast, fluorescence, and DIC optics, and comes with a Hamamatsu flash camera, an additional color camera, and CellSens imaging software. This new microscope will support a variety of ongoing and future research at BIOS, including investigations into primary production and carbon cycling in the Sargasso Sea; microbial community experiments; the identification and quantification of prokaryotic and nanoplanktonic communities within the BATS time-series; and the cellular effects of stress on multicellular organisms.