Microbial biofilms are generally constituted by distinct subpopulations of specialized cells. Single-cell analysis of these subpopulations requires the use of fluorescent reporters. Here we describe a protocol to visualize and monitor several subpopulationswithin B. subtilis biofilms using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.
A detailed protocol is described for imaging the real time formation of DNA repair complexes in Bacillus subtilis cells.
Live Cell Imaging of Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus pneumoniae using Automated Time-lapse Microscopy
This protocol provides a step-by-step procedure to monitor single cell behavior of different bacteria in time using automated fluorescence time-lapse microscopy. Furthermore, we provide guidelines how to analyze the microscopy images.
1Biological and Nanoscale Systems Group, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, 3Department of Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 4Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Live Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria can be immobilized on gelatin-coated mica and imaged in liquid using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
Visualization of Cortex Organization and Dynamics in Microorganisms, using Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy
Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy is a powerful approach to observe structures close to the cell surface at high contrast and temporal resolution. We demonstrate how TIRF can be employed to study protein dynamics at the cortex of cell wall-enclosed bacterial and fungal cells.
Mycobacterial pathogenic strategies remain poorly understood. The slow growth rate of most species, the impenetrable nature of the cell-wall, and the hazards of working with pathogens make mycobacteria difficult to study and are largely responsible for our poor understanding of these organisms. In this video we will demonstrate the technique of electroporation, which involves subjecting cells to a brief high electrical impulse to allow the entry of DNA. It is the most widely used method for introducing DNA into mycobacterial cells.
1Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, 2Clinical Research Laboratory, 81st Medical Group, Keesler Air Force Base
Lytic phage biosensors and antibody beads are able to discriminate between methicillin resistant (MRSA) and sensitive staphylococcus bacteria. The phages were immobilized by a Langmuir-Blodgett method onto a surface of a quartz crystal microbalance sensor and worked as broad range staphylococcus probes. Antibody beads recognize MRSA.
An efficient genome-wide single gene mutation method has been established using Streptococcus sanguinis as a model organism. This method has achieved via high throughput recombinant PCRs and transformations.
Isolation of Ribosome Bound Nascent Polypeptides in vitro to Identify Translational Pause Sites Along mRNA
A technique to identify translational pause sites on mRNA is described. This procedure is based on isolation of nascent polypeptides accumulating on ribosomes during in vitro translation of a target mRNA, followed by the size analysis of the nascent chains using a denaturing gel electrophoresis.
We provide a simple, semi-quantitative method to investigate biofilm formation in vitro. This method takes advantage of the Zeiss stemi 2000-C Dissecting Microscope (with camera attachment) to monitor both the timing and pattern of biofilm formation, as assessed by the development of wrinkled colonies.
We have recently reported a novel approach for generating fluorogenic DNAzyme probes that can be applied to set up a simple, "mix-and-read" fluorescent assay for bacterial detection. These special DNA probes catalyze the cleavage of a chromophore-modified DNA-RNA chimeric substrate in the presence of crude extracellular mixture (CEM) produced by a specific bacterium, thereby translating bacterial detection into fluorescence signal generation. In this report we will describe key experimental procedures where a specific DNAzyme probe denoted "RFD-EC1" is employed for the detection of the model bacterium, Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Sample Preparation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Extracts for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Metabolomic Studies
The metabolomic profile of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is determined after growth in broth cultures. Conditions can be varied to test the effects of nutritional supplements, oxidants, and anti-tuberculosis agents on the metabolic profile of this microorganism. Procedure for extract preparation is applicable for both 1D 1H and 2D 1H-13C NMR analyses.
A quick and efficient method to integrate foreign DNA of interest into pre-made acceptor strains, termed landing pad strains, is described. The method allows site-specific integration of a DNA cassette into the engineered landing pad locus of a given strain, through conjugation and expression of the ΦC31 integrase.
Solubilization and Bio-conjugation of Quantum Dots and Bacterial Toxicity Assays by Growth Curve and Plate Count
Nanoparticles such as semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) can be used to create photoactivatable agents for anti-microbial or anti-cancer applications. This technique shows how to water-solubilize cadmium telluride (CdTe) QDs, conjugate them to an antibiotic, and perform a bacterial inhibition assay based upon growth curves and plate count.
The Logic, Experimental Steps, and Potential of Heterologous Natural Product Biosynthesis Featuring the Complex Antibiotic Erythromycin A Produced Through E. coli
The heterologous biosynthesis of erythromycin A through E. coli includes the following experimental steps: 1) genetic transfer; 2) heterologous reconstitution; and 3) product analysis. Each step will be explained in the context of the motivation, potential, and challenges in producing therapeutic natural products using E. coli as a surrogate host.
Oral and intra haemocolic infection of larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella is described. This insect can be used to study virulence factors of entomopathogenic as well as mammalian opportunistic bacteria. Rearing of the insects, methods of infection and examples of in vivo analysis are described.
Non-surgical Intratracheal Instillation of Mice with Analysis of Lungs and Lung Draining Lymph Nodes by Flow Cytometry
1Department of Immunology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 2Division of Cell Biology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health, 3Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, 4Department of Immunology, National Jewish Health
We illustrate non-surgical delivery of test materials into the lungs of anesthetized mice via the trachea. This method permits lung exposure to bacterial and viral pathogens, cytokines, antibodies, beads, chemicals, or dyes. We further describe harvesting and processing of lungs and lung draining lymph nodes (LDLNs) for flow cytometry.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis forms drug tolerant biofilms when cultured in certain conditions. Here we describe methods for culturing M. tuberculosis biofilms and determining the frequency of drug tolerant persisters. These protocols will be useful for further studies into the mechanisms of drug tolerance in M. tuberculosis.
Plant biomass is a major carbon-neutral renewable resource that could be used for the production of biofuels. Plant biomass consists mainly of cell walls, a structurally complex composite material termed lignocellulosics. Here we describe a protocol for a comprehensive analysis of the content and composition of the polyphenolic lignin.
1BioSciences Division, Guild Associates, Inc., 2Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, 3Department of Craniofacial Biology, Medical University of South Carolina
A simple method for the identification of priority bacterial pathogens is to use genetically engineered reporter phage. These reporter phage, which are specific to their particular host species, are capable of rapidly transducing a bioluminescent signal response to host cells. Herein, we describe the use of reporter phage for the detection of Yersinia pestis.
Comprehensive Compositional Analysis of Plant Cell Walls (Lignocellulosic biomass) Part II: Carbohydrates
Plant biomass is a major carbon-neutral renewable resource that could be used for the production of biofuels. Plant biomass consists mainly of cell walls, a structurally complex composite material termed lignocellulosics. Here we describe a protocol for a comprehensive analysis of the content and composition of wall derived carbohydrates.
A Modified EPA Method 1623 that Uses Tangential Flow Hollow-fiber Ultrafiltration and Heat Dissociation Steps to Detect Waterborne Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp.
1National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, 3Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, US Environmental Protection Agency
This protocol describes the use of a tangential flow hollow-fiber ultrafiltration sample concentration system and a heat dissociation as alternative steps for the detection of waterborne Cryptosporidium and Giardia species using EPA Method 1623.
Specific Marking of HIV-1 Positive Cells using a Rev-dependent Lentiviral Vector Expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein
We have developed a lentiviral vector that possesses, in addition to the Tat-responsive LTR, the Rev-response element (RRE) that can regulate reporter gene expression in an HIV-1 Tat- and Rev-dependent fashion. The vector permits the specific detection of replicating HIV in living cells via the expression of GFP.
A sustainable auto regulating bacterial system for the remediation of oil pollutions was designed using standard interchangeable DNA parts (BioBricks). An engineered E. coli strain was used to degrade alkanes via β-oxidation in toxic aqueous environments. The respective enzymes from different species showed alkane degradation activity. Additionally, an increased tolerance to n-hexane was achieved by introducing genes from alkane-tolerant bacteria.
Analysis of Gene Expression in Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Using Quantitative Real Time-PCR
Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) is an effective tool to diagnose mRNA levels in different insect tissues and developmental stages. In this report we show the use of qRT-PCR to ascertain mRNA levels in different larval tissues and developmental stages of the invasive insect species, emerald ash borer.
The method described here utilizes direct injection of entomopathogenic bacteria into the hemocoel of Manduca sexta insect larvae. M. sexta is a commercially available and well-studied insect. Thus, this method represents a simple approach to analyzing host-bacterial interactions from the perspective of one or both partners.
We describe a super-resolution imaging method to probe the structural organization of the bacterial FtsZ-ring, an essential apparatus for cell division. This method is based on quantitative analyses of photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) images and can be applied to other bacterial cytoskeletal proteins.
Methods for bioluminescence imaging of bacterial infections in living animals are decribed. Pathogens are modified to express luciferase allowing optical whole body imaging of infections in live animals. Animal models can be infected with luciferase expressing pathogens and the resulting course of disease visualized in real-time by bioluminescence imaging.
The Xpert MTB/RIF test integrates sample decontamination, hands-free operation, on-board sample processing, and ultra-sensitive hemi-nested PCR for the simultaneous detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance, either in expectorated sputum or concentrated sputum sediments, in approximately two hours. Testing is standardized and requires only moderate laboratory infrastructure and training.
DNA Fingerprinting of Mycobacterium leprae Strains Using Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) - Fragment Length Analysis (FLA)
Leprosy, caused by Mycobacterium leprae, is still endemic in many places. In order to learn about the spread and mode of transmission of leprosy, it is important to determine which strain of M. leprae has infected a patient. Variable numbers of tandem repeats (VNTR) typing is one such method.
Methods for purifying the cholesterol binding toxin streptolysin O from recombinant E. coli and visualization of toxin binding to live eukaryotic cells are described. Localized delivery of toxin induces rapid and complex changes in targeted cells revealing novel aspects of toxin biology.
Multiplex Detection of Bacteria in Complex Clinical and Environmental Samples using Oligonucleotide-coupled Fluorescent Microspheres
We describe a multiplex method for the detection of microorganisms within a sample using oligonucleotide-coupled fluorescent beads. Amplicon from all organisms within a sample is hybridized to a panel of probe-coupled beads. A Luminex or Bio-Plex instrument is used to query each bead for bead type and hybridization signal.
A method for the determination of acetate kinase activity is described. This assay utilizes a direct reaction for determining enzyme activity and kinetics of acetate kinase in the acetate-forming direction with different phosphoryl acceptors. Furthermore, this method can be utilized for assaying other acetyl phosphate or acetyl-CoA utilizing enzymes.