Here, we report the procedure for benthic prokaryotic enumeration based on Acridine Orange and SYBR Green I stains and counts under epiuorescence microscope.

Surface sediment samples are actually collected using multiple corers or box corers. Immediately after retrieval, sediment subsamples are gently removed from the core by inserting a cutoff 5 mL sterile plastic syringe along the axis of the core. The syringe plunger is held xed at the sediment surface, whereas the barrel is pushed into the sediment for 1 cm, a procedure that is analogous to piston coring. Sediment subsamples (ca. 0.5-1 mL) are then transferred into sterile tubes (15 mL) and xed with lter-sterilized (0.2 µm) 2% formalin in seawater solution.