GFP-fusion proteins are widely used to visualize organelles by confocal microscopy. However, screening for mutations that affect the morphology of organelles generally requires individual mutagenesis and is time consuming. Here, we demonstrate a method to simultaneously incorporate organelle-GFP markers in almost 5,000 non-essential genes in yeast.
Chick in ovo electroporation is a technique which allows genetic manipulation of the avian embryo. Common applications of this technique include functional analysis of genes and putative enhancer elements. This video demonstrates neural tube electroporation in HH 10 chick embryos. Injection technique and proper egg handling are discussed.
The model organism C. elegans uses pseudocoelomic fluid as a passive circulatory system. Direct assay of this fluid has not been previously possible. Here we present a novel technique to directly assay the extracellular space, and use systemic silencing signals during an RNAi response as a proof of principle example.
Here we describe a plasmid overexpression screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using an arrayed plasmid library and a high-throughput yeast transformation protocol with a liquid handling robot.
The protocol describes protein expression using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. The preparation of electrocompetent yeast cells, transformation of the vector with the gene of interest into P. pastoris and yeast DNA purification are also performed. Western blot analysis and protein purification build the last steps in this protein expression protocol.
1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 4Research Medicine, Veterans Affairs TVHS, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Zebrafish has emerged as a powerful in vivo platform for phenotype-based drug screens and chemical genetic analysis. Here, we demonstrate a simple, practical method for large-scale screening of small molecules using zebrafish embryos.
1Banting and Best Department of Medical Research and Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, 3Donnelly Sequencing Centre, University of Toronto, 4Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, 5Stanford Genome Technology Center, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University, 6Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto
We have developed comprehensive, unbiased genome-wide screens to understand gene-drug and gene-environment interactions. Methods for screening these mutant collections are presented.
Mating and tetrad separation are required for genetic analysis in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here we demonstrate standard methods for gametogenesis, mating, zygote germination and tetrad dissection. This protocol consists of an easy-to-follow series of steps that will make genetic approaches amenable to scientists who are less familiar with Chlamydomonas.
Genetic studies in yeast can be employed to investigate the molecular and cellular functions of human genes in cellular DNA metabolism. Methods are described for the genetic characterization of the human WRN gene product defective in the premature aging disorder Werner syndrome in functionally conserved pathways using yeast as a tractable model system.
We present a noninvasive sampling approach to efficiently collect hair samples from elusive small mammals, as shown for the American pika. We demonstrate the utility of this method by extracting DNA from sampled hair and amplifying several types of molecular markers commonly used in studies of wildlife ecology and conservation.
The easiness of maintaining and propagating the nematode C. elegans make it a nice model organism to work with. The possibility of synchronizing worms allows the work with a significant amount of subjects at the same developmental stage, what facilitates the study of one particular process in many animals.
Identification of mechanisms underlying muscle damage is crucial. Here we present the histological technique for preparing paraffin-embedded and frozen sections of Drosophila thoracic muscles. This allows analysis of muscle morphology and localization of protein and other muscle cell components.
1Department of Integrative Oncology, BC Cancer Research Centre, 2Interdisciplinary Oncology Program, University of British Columbia - UBC, 3Photography/Video Production, Multi-Media Services, BC Cancer Agency, 4Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia - UBC
This video demonstrates the protocol for DNA extraction from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded material. This is a multi-day procedure in which tissue sections are deparaffinized with xylene, rehydrated with ethanol and treated with proteinase K to purify and isolate DNA for subsequent gene-specific or genome-wide analysis.
In insects, the oenocytes produce cuticular hydrocarbon compounds. These compounds protect against desiccation and facilitate chemical communication. Here we demonstrate a dissection technique used to isolate the oenocytes from adult Drosophila melanogaster, and illustrate how this preparation can be utilized to study genes involved in hydrocarbon synthesis.
The purpose of this video is to demonstrate procedures for obtaining healthy, intact hair cells from the inner ear organs of adult zebrafish and then using them for patch clamp studies aimed at characterizing the biophysical properties of their voltage-gated channels.
Toxoplasma gondii Cyst Wall Formation in Activated Bone Marrow-derived Macrophages and Bradyzoite Conditions
Toxoplasma gondii converts to a cyst form in response to environmental stresses, which can be mimicked in tissue culture models. This video demonstrates techniques to examine cyst wall formation by activating bone marrow-derived macrophages or changing growth medium pH in fibroblast cells.
The Direct PCR approach presented here facilitates PCR amplification directly from small amounts of unpurified plant and animal tissue.
The assay describes a rapid means to measure early biofilm formation in bacteria and fungi. This method uses a microtiter plate as the substratum for microbial biofilm formation, and the biofilm is visualized using crystal violet strain. The assay provides either a qualitative or quantitative assay for early biofilm formation.
1Genetics Program, Michigan State University, 2Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, 3Human Biology Program, Michigan State University, 4Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University
Sexual crosses and isolation of recombinant progeny are important research tools for the filamentous fungus, Fusarium graminearum, The techniques necessary successfully carry out these processes are presented.
Microscopic organisms like the free-swimming nematode C. elegans, live and behave in a complex three-dimensional environment. We report on a novel approach that provides analysis of C. elegans using diffraction patterns. This approach consists of tracking the temporal periodicity of diffraction patterns generated by directing laser light through a cuvette.
A protocol for isolating and activating spermatids from male C. elegans is described here. Cutting the posterior end of male releases spermatids. The spermatids can be activated by addition of protease.
We report development of a negative selection system in E. histolytica based upon transgenic expression of a chimeric protein (FCU1) and selection with the prodrug 5-fluorocytosine. The FCU1 protein is a fusion of yeast cytosine deaminase and uracil phosphoribosyltransferase. Expression of FCU1 resulted in increased E. histolytica sensitivity towards 5-fluorocytosine.
An efficient method to obtain highly purified viable meiotic fractions from mouse testis is described, which combines a refined cell dissociation protocol with fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS). This method takes advantage of differences in the DNA content and nuclear density of discrete meiotic fractions.
The purpose of this article is to describe the use of an orthotopic glioblastoma model for chemoradiation studies. This article will go though cell processing, implanting, and radiotherapy of the mouse using an intracranial model.
Here we describe a light-dark preference test for Drosophila larva. This assay provides information about innate and circadian regulation of light sensing and processing photobehavior.
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.
An efficient system of structure and function analysis of a gene in an ex vivo culture of splenic B-lymphocytes is described. This method takes advantage of recombinant retroviral production in a helper free, ecotrophic packaging cell line. Stable, heritable expression of a gene of interest within primary lymphocytes is achieved leading to generation of surface antibodies on B cells undergoing class switch recombination.
Mosaic Analysis of Gene Function in Postnatal Mouse Brain Development by Using Virus-based Cre Recombination
1Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, 3Department of Cell and Neurobiology, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
An in vivo method to test gene function in postnatal brain is described. Recombinant AAVs expressing Cre and/or a fluorescent protein are injected into neonatal mouse brain. Mosaic gene inactivation and sparse neuronal labeling are achieved, allowing rapid analysis of gene function in processes critical to neural circuit development.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring life span of nematodes maintained on solid media with UV-killed bacterial food.
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.
With its small transparent body, well-documented neuroanatomy and a host of amenable genetic techniques and reagents, C. elegans makes an ideal model organism for in vivo neuronal imaging using relatively simple, low-cost techniques. Here we describe single neuron imaging within intact adult animals using genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicators.
1Department of Synthetic Biology and Bioenergy, J. Craig Venter Institute, 2Department of Microbial and Environmental Genomics, J. Craig Venter Institute, 3Donnelly Centre & Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 4Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mt Sinai Hospital
The Green Monster method enables the rapid assembly of multiple deletions marked with a reporter gene encoding green fluorescent protein. This method is based on driving yeast strains through repeated cycles of sexual assortment of deletions and fluorescence-based enrichment of cells carrying more deletions.
This paper describes different methods of growing Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms on cultured human airway epithelial cells. These protocols can be adapted to study different aspects of biofilm formation, including visualization of the biofilm, staining of the biofilm, measuring the colony forming units (CFU) of the biofilm, and studying biofilm cytotoxicity.
We describe a qualitative assay to monitor bacterial competition mediated by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type VI secretion system (T6SS). The assay relies on the survival/killing of Escherichia coli target cells carrying a lacZ-reporter. This technique is adjustable to assess the bactericidal/bacteriostasis activity of T6SS-proficient microorganisms.
Protocols for utilizing open system flow biofilms with drip flow reactors and rotating disk reactors are presented in detail.
The fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is a good model system to study basic cellular processes. Here we describe a method to perform quantitative live cell analysis of fission yeast. In this particular experiment we focus on organisation of the genome within the cell nucleus, but the method can also be used to study cytosolic factors.
We describe a set of assays to analyze expression levels of H1 linker histones. mRNA of individual H1 genes are quantitatively measured by random primer based reverse transcription followed by real-time PCR, whereas protein quantification of H1 histones is achieved by HPLC analysis.
Monitoring Plasmid Replication in Live Mammalian Cells over Multiple Generations by Fluorescence Microscopy
A method of observing individual DNA molecules in live cells is described. The technique is based on the binding of a fluorescently tagged lac repressor protein to binding sites engineered into the DNA of interest. This method can be adapted to follow many recombinant DNAs in live cells over time.
The Drosophila retina is a crystal-like lattice composed of a small number of cell types that are generated in a stereotyped manner 1. Its amenability to sophisticated genetic analysis allows the study of complex developmental programs. This protocol describes dissections and immunohistochemistry of retinas at three discrete developmental stages, with a focus on photoreceptor differentiation.
We describe a protocol using C. elegans and RNAi feeding libraries that allows automated measurement of multiple parameters such as fluorescence, size and opacity of individual worms in a population. We give one example of a screen to identify genes involved in anti-fungal innate immunity in C. elegans.
Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for exploring the molecular basis of longevity regulation. This protocol will discuss the steps involved in generating a reproducible, population-based measurement of longevity as well as potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Investigating Tissue- and Organ-specific Phytochrome Responses using FACS-assisted Cell-type Specific Expression Profiling in Arabidopsis thaliana
The molecular basis of spatial-specific phytochrome responses is being investigated using transgenic plants that exhibit tissue- and organ-specific phytochrome deficiencies. The isolation of specific cells exhibiting induced phytochrome chromophore depletion by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting followed by microarray analyses is being utilized to identify genes involved in spatial-specific phytochrome responses.
Tissue-specific analysis of a hair follicle regeneration model using lentivirus to mediate gain- or loss-of-function.
1Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo (LID), Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, 2Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 3Laboratorio de Diagnostico Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, University of Concepcion,Chile, 4University of California San Diego School of Medicine
A One-Step RT-PCR assay for detection and genogroup identification of Norovirus isolates from children’s stools, that utilizes primers and TaqMan probes specific to the open reading frame 1 (ORF1)-ORF2 junction region, the most conserved region of the Norovirus genome is described. A non-commercial, cost-effective RNA extraction method is detailed.
Medaka and zebrafish are complementary for genetic dissection of vertebrate genome functions. This protocol highlights the key points for successful microinjection into medaka embryos, an important technique for embryological and genetic analysis using medaka and zebrafish in a laboratory.
Parasitoid (parasitic) wasps constitute a major class of natural enemies of many insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We will introduce the techniques to propagate these parasites in Drosophila spp. and demonstrate how to analyze their effects on immune tissues of Drosophila larvae.
We present a technique for labeling single neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila embryos, which allows the analysis of neuronal morphology by either transmitted light or confocal microscopy.
Forward genetics is a powerful method to unravel the molecular level of how Toxoplasma egresses from its host cell. Protocols are provided to chemically mutagenize parasites, enrich for mutants with defects in induced egress, and validate the phenotype of cloned mutants.
We present various ways to monitor heart function in the larva of Drosophila for assessing questions dealing with the function of gap junctions, ion channel mutations, modulation of pacemaker activity and pharmacological studies.
Paired Nanoinjection and Electrophysiology Assay to Screen for Bioactivity of Compounds using the Drosophila melanogaster Giant Fiber System
A rapid in vivo assay to test for neuromodulatory compounds using the Giant Fiber System (GFS) of Drosophila melanogaster is described. Nanoinjections in the head of the animal along with electrophysiological recordings of the GFS can reveal bioactivity of compounds on neurons or muscles.