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    Flow cytometry is set to become the standard method for enumerating prokaryotes and viruses in marine samples. However, the samples need to be flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen directly after aldehyde fixation. Because liquid nitrogen may not always be available, we tested the potential of sodium azide as a preservative for prokaryotes and viruses in marine samples as a possible alternative. For that we conducted incubation experiments with untreated and sodium azide treated marine water samples at 4°C and room temperature. The data indicate that sodium azide cannot be used to maintain marine samples used for the enumeration of prokaryotes and viruses.


    Christian Winter, Marie-Emmanuelle Kerros, Markus G Weinbauer. Effects of sodium azide on the abundance of prokaryotes and viruses in marine samples. PloS one. 2012;7(5):e37597

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    PMID: 22624052

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