Construction of a fosmid library with environmental genomic DNA isolated from the vertical depth continuum of a seasonally hypoxic fjord is described. The resulting clone library is picked into 384-well plates and archived for downstream sequencing and functional screening by the application of an automated colony picking system.
A methodology to isolate high molecular weight and high quality genomic DNA from soil microbial community is described.
Separation of Single-stranded DNA, Double-stranded DNA and RNA from an Environmental Viral Community Using Hydroxyapatite Chromatography
We describe an efficient method to separate single-stranded DNA, double-stranded DNA and RNA molecules from environmental viral communities. Nucleic acids are fractionated using hydroxyapatite chromatography with increasing concentrations of phosphate-containing buffers. This method permits the isolation of all viral nucleic acid types from environmental samples.
DNA stable-isotope probing is a cultivation-independent method to identify and characterize active communities of microorganisms that are capable of utilizing specific substrates. Assimilation of substrate enriched in heavy isotope leads to incorporation of labelled atoms into microbial biomass. Density gradient ultracentrifugation retrieves labelled DNA for downstream molecular analyses.
We provide an improved protocol for extracting high molecular weight DNA from hypersaline microbial mats. Microbial cells are separated from the mat matrix prior to DNA extraction and purification. This enhances the concentrations, quality, and size of the DNA. The protocol may be used for other refractory samples.
DT40, a model vertebrate genetic system, provides a powerful tool to analyze protein function. Here we describe a simple method that allows qualitative analysis of parameters that influence DNA synthesis during the S-phase in DT40 cells at the single molecule level.
Monitoring Cleaved Caspase-3 Activity and Apoptosis of Immortalized Oligodendroglial Cells using Live-cell Imaging and Cleaveable Fluorogenic-dye Substrates Following Potassium-induced Membrane Depolarization
Live-cell imaging of caspase-3 mediated apoptosis in immortalized N19-oligodendrocyte cell cultures using the NucView 488 caspase-3 substrate. This technique is applicable for programmed cell death assays in real-time in a variety of cell types and tissues.
A PCR-based Genotyping Method to Distinguish Between Wild-type and Ornamental Varieties of Imperata cylindrica
We provide a cost-effective and rapid molecular genotyping protocol that employs variety-specific PCR primers that target DNA sequence differences within the chloroplast trnL-F spacer region to differentiate between varieties of Imperata cylindrica (cogongrass) that cannot be distinguished by morphology alone. These varieties include the federally listed noxious weed, cogongrass and closely-related, wide-spread ornamental variety, I. cylindrica var. koenigii (Japanese blood grass).
Extracting DNA from the Gut Microbes of the Termite (Zootermopsis Angusticollis) and Visualizing Gut Microbes
This video illustrates the technique for extracting DNA from the species of microbes resident in the termite hindgut. The preparation of a wet mount slide, which is useful for visualizing the gut microbial community is also illustrated, and a tour through the species-rich gut environment is given.
Optimized Analysis of DNA Methylation and Gene Expression from Small, Anatomically-defined Areas of the Brain
A streamlined workflow to study DNA methylation and gene expression changes upon early-life stress is shown. Starting from maternal separation of newborn mice and isolation of discrete brain tissues, we represent a protocol to simultaneously isolate DNA and RNA from brain tissue punches for subsequent bisulfite sequencing and RT-PCR analysis.
This video is a technical demonstration of the hybridization protocol for whole genome tiling path array CGH, which scans the entire human genome using only 25-100 ng of DNA that can be isolated from a variety of sources, including archival formalin fixed material.
Fabrication of Electrochemical-DNA Biosensors for the Reagentless Detection of Nucleic Acids, Proteins and Small Molecules
1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Of California Santa Barbara, 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Program in BioMolecular Science and Engineering, University Of California Santa Barbara
"E-DNA" sensors, reagentless, electrochemical biosensors that perform well even when challenged directly in blood and other complex matrices, have been adapted to the detection of a wide range of nucleic acid, protein and small molecule analytes. Here we present a general procedure for the fabrication and use of such sensors.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here's a look at what's coming up in the February 2013 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Until recently, expression studies on human brain were limited to quantification of RNA or protein. With the chromatin immunoprecipitation techniques described in this paper, it will be possible to map histone methylation and other epigenetic regulators of gene expression in postmortem brain.
Xenopus egg extract is a useful model system to investigate the DNA damage checkpoint. This protocol is for the preparation of Xenopus egg extracts and DNA damage checkpoint inducing reagents. These techniques are adaptable to a variety of DNA damaging approaches in the study of the DNA damage checkpoint signaling.
Locked Nucleic Acid Flow Cytometry-fluorescence in situ Hybridization (LNA flow-FISH): a Method for Bacterial Small RNA Detection
A novel high-throughput method is described that enables the detection and relative quantitation of small RNA and mRNA expression from single bacterial cells using locked nucleic acid probes and flow cytometry-fluorescence in situ hybridization.
This paper details how to use continuous-flow hypoxia chambers to generate atmospheres with defined concentrations of O2 to understand biological responses to decreased O2. This system is easy to setup and maintain, and flexible enough to suit a wide range of O2 concentrations and model systems
We present a method for generating cDNA from environmental mRNA. In general, total RNA is first collected from the environment, rRNA is selectively removed, mRNA is selectively amplified, and cDNA synthesized from the enriched mRNA pool is sequenced. Recovered sequences can be annotated using standard bioinformatics techniques to identify the expressed genes.
1Neural Development Group, Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK, 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Imaging embryonic tissue in real-time is challenging over long periods of time. Here we present an assay for monitoring cellular and sub-cellular changes in chick spinal cord for long periods with high spatial and temporal resolution. This technique can be adapted for other regions of the nervous system and developing embryo.
1Department of Obstretrics & Gynaecology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 2Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 3Children's Health Research Institute
Bisulfite mutagenesis is the gold standard for analyzing DNA methylation. Our modified protocol allows for DNA methylation analysis at the single-cell level and was specifically designed for individual oocytes. It can also be used for cleavage-stage embryos.
Described is a two-step labeling process using β-glucosyltransferase (β-GT) to transfer an azide-glucose to 5-hmC, followed by click chemistry to transfer a biotin linker for easy and density-independent enrichment. This efficient and specific labeling method enables enrichment of 5-hmC with extremely low background and high-throughput epigenomic mapping via next-generation sequencing.
The study describes a cost-effective method for the identification of the source of fecal/urine contamination or contamination by nitrates in water using qPCR for the specific quantification of human/porcine/bovine DNA viruses, adenoviruses and polyomaviruses, proposed as MST tools.
Isolating primary microglia from the cellular heterogeneity of the brain is essential to investigate their role in both physiological and pathological conditions. This protocol describes a mechanical isolation and mixed cell culture technique that provides high yield and high purity, viable primary microglial cells for in vitro study and downstream applications.
A ribosomal RNA (rRNA) depletion protocol was developed to enrich messenger RNA (mRNA) for RNA-seq of the mosquito gut metatranscriptome. Sample specific rRNA probes, which were used to remove rRNA via subtraction, were created from the mosquito and its gut microbes. Performance of the protocol can result in the removal of approximately 90-99% of rRNA.
Photobleaching Assays (FRAP & FLIP) to Measure Chromatin Protein Dynamics in Living Embryonic Stem Cells
We describe photobleaching methods including Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) and Fluorescence Loss In Photobleaching (FLIP) to monitor chromatin protein dynamics in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Chromatin protein dynamics, which is considered to be one of the means to study chromatin plasticity, is enhanced in pluripotent cells.
Quantitative Fitness Analysis (QFA) is a complementary series of experimental and computational methods for estimating microbial culture fitnesses. QFA estimates the effect of genetic mutations, drugs or other applied treatments on microbe growth. Experiments scaling from focussed analysis of single cultures to thousands of parallel cultures can be designed.
Metabolic memory is the phenomenon by which diabetic complications persist and progress unimpeded even after euglycemia is achieved pharmaceutically. Here we describe a diabetes mellitus zebrafish model which is unique in that it allows for the examination of the mitotically transmissible epigenetic components of metabolic memory in vivo.
Protocol describing the application of a flow cell system for growing and analyzing microbial biofilms for Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM).
The ability of embryonic germinal cells to differentiate into primordial germinal cells during early development stages is a perfect model to address our hypothesis about cancer and infertility. This protocol shows how to isolate primordial germinal cells from developing gonads in 10.5-11.5 days post coitum mouse embryos.
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.
Description of a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) method for knock-down of gene expression in Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato.
1Dept. of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Dept. of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 3Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles
Primary cultures of Aplysia sensory-motor neurons provide a model preparation for studying synapse formation and synaptic plasticity in vitro. This video demonstrates the identification and microdissection of sensory and motor neurons from Aplysia ganglia as well as the methods for establishing and maintaining sensory-motor neurons in culture.
Combination of Adhesive-tape-based Sampling and Fluorescence in situ Hybridization for Rapid Detection of Salmonella on Fresh Produce
1Center for Meat Safety and Quality, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, 2Rapid Microbial Detection and Control Laboratory, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University
This protocol describes a simple adhesive-tape-based approach for sampling of tomato and other fresh produce surfaces, followed by rapid whole cell detection of Salmonella using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).
1Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, 2Department of Biochemistry, Protein Chip Research Center, Chungbuk National University, 3Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zurich
Droplet-based microfluidic platforms are promising candidates for high throughput experimentation since they are able to generate picoliter, self-compartmentalized vessels inexpensively at kHz rates. Through integration with fast, sensitive and high resolution fluorescence spectroscopic methods, the large amounts of information generated within these systems can be efficiently extracted, harnessed and utilized.
When working with media and reagents used to culture microorganisms, aseptic technique must be practiced to ensure contamination is minimized. A variety of plating methods are routinely used to isolate, propagate, or enumerate bacteria and phage, all of which incorporate procedures that maintain the sterility of experimental materials.
TransFLP — A Method to Genetically Modify Vibrio cholerae Based on Natural Transformation and FLP-recombination
A quick method to modify the genome of V. cholerae is described. These modifications include the deletion of single genes, gene clusters and genomic islands as well as the integration of short sequences (e.g. promoter elements or affinity-tag sequences). The method is based on the natural transformation and FLP-recombination.
1Department of Biological Sciences and Institute for Neuroscience, George Washington University, 2Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 3Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California San Francisco
Here we describe a molecular readout of long-term olfactory adaptation in Caenorhabditis elegans. The Protein Kinase G, EGL-4, is necessary for stable adaptation responses in the primary sensory neuron pair called AWC. During prolonged odor exposure EGL-4 translocates from the cytosol to nucleus of the AWC.
Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) Labeling and Subsequent Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting for Culture-independent Identification of Dissolved Organic Carbon-degrading Bacterioplankton
Environmental bacterioplankton are incubated with a model dissolved organic carbon (DOC) compound and a DNA labeling reagent, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). Afterward, DOC-degrading cells are separated from the bulk community based on their elevated BrdU incorporation using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). These cells are then identified by subsequent molecular analyses.
Mapping Bacterial Functional Networks and Pathways in Escherichia Coli using Synthetic Genetic Arrays
1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, 3Department of Biochemistry, Research and Innovation Centre, University of Regina
Systematic, large-scale synthetic genetic (gene-gene or epistasis) interaction screens can be used to explore genetic redundancy and pathway cross-talk. Here, we describe a high-throughput quantitative synthetic genetic array screening technology, termed eSGA that we developed for elucidating epistatic relationships and exploring genetic interaction networks in Escherichia coli.
A molecular beam coupled to tunable vacuum ultraviolet photoionization mass spectrometer at a synchrotron provides a convenient tool to explore the electronic structure of isolated gas phase molecules and clusters. Proton transfer mechanisms in DNA base dimers were elucidated with this technique.
This article describes a technique for the visualization of the early events of embryogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
Fluorescent-core microcavity sensors employ a high-index quantum-dot coating in the channel of silica microcapillaries. Changes in the refractive index of fluids pumped into the capillary channel cause shifts in the microcavity fluorescence spectrum that can be used to analyze the channel medium.
Avian Influenza Surveillance with FTA Cards: Field Methods, Biosafety, and Transportation Issues Solved
A method to preserve, detect and sequence RNA from Avian Influenza Viruses was validated and extended using natural faecal samples from birds. This technique removes the necessity of maintaining a cool chain and handling of infectious viruses and can be applied in a 96-well high-throughput setup.
1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 3Center for Advanced Genomics Technology, Boston University, 4Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, 5Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 6CNR (National Research Council), Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare
Quantitative, high-throughput, real-time, and label-free biomolecular detection (DNA, protein, etc.) on SiO2 surfaces can be achieved using a simple interferometric technique which relies on LED illumination, minimal optical components, and a camera. The Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS) is inexpensive, simple to use, and amenable to microarray formats.
Isolation of Native Soil Microorganisms with Potential for Breaking Down Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films Used in Agriculture
1Biology Department, Western Washington University, 2Washington State University Northwestern Research and Extension Center, 3Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University
Plastic films labeled "biodegradable" are commercially available for agricultural use as mulches. Tillage represents an attractive disposal method, but degradation under field conditions is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to develop methods for isolating native soil fungi and bacteria that colonize plastic mulch films after field burial.
Neuromodulation and Mitochondrial Transport: Live Imaging in Hippocampal Neurons over Long Durations
We describe a protocol that allows imaging of mitochondria in living neurons via fluorescence microscopy over long durations. Imaging over extended periods is accomplished through lentivirus-mediated expression of a mitochondrially targeted fluorescent protein and use of an inexpensive stage-top incubator that was designed and built in our laboratory.
We seek to define the neural immune signaling responsible for cold-preconditioning as means to identify novel targets for therapeutics development to protect brain before injury onset. We present strategies for such work that require biological systems, experimental manipulations plus technical capacities that are highly reproducible and sensitive.
The Target ID Library is a plasmid-based, genome-wide collection of cloned cDNA used to identify miRNA targets. Here we demonstrate its use and application.
1Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, 2Molecular Neurobiology Program, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 3Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, 5Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, New York University School of Medicine, 6Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, 7Center for Neural Science, New York University School of Medicine
The protocol describes an efficient and reproducible model system to study herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) latency and reactivation. The assay employs homogenous sympathetic neuron cultures and allows for the molecular dissection of virus-neuron interactions using a variety of tools including RNA interference and expression of recombinant proteins.
A description of the surgical induction of endometriosis in mice and rats by auto-transplantation of uterine tissue to the arterial cascade of the intestinal mesentery.