The turnover rate of viruses in marine and freshwater systems can be estimated by a reduction and reoccurrence technique. The data allow researchers to infer rates of virus-mediated microbial mortality in aquatic systems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We present a protocol for freezing and cryosectioning yeast communities to observe internal patterns of fluorescent cells. The method relies on methanol-fixing and OCT-embedding to preserve the spatial distribution of cells without inactivating fluorescent proteins within a community.
We present methods to evaluate how predation risk can alter the chemical quality of herbivore prey by inducing dietary changes to meet demands of heightened stress, and how the decomposition of carcasses from these stressed herbivores slows subsequent plant litter decomposition by soil microbes.
Concentration of Metabolites from Low-density Planktonic Communities for Environmental Metabolomics using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
1Biosphere Oriented Biology Research Unit, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, 2Graduate School of Nanobioscience, Yokohama City University, 3Advanced NMR Metabomics Research Team, RIKEN Plant Science Center, 4Graduate School of Bioagricultural Science, Nagoya University
A method for metabolite extraction from microbial planktonic communities is presented. Whole community sampling is achieved by filtration onto specially prepared filters. After lyophilization, aqueous-soluble metabolites are extracted. This approach allows for application of environmental metabolomics to trans-omics investigations of natural or experimental microbial communities.
Jared Leadbetter explains why the termite-gut microbial community is an excellent system for studying the complex interactions between microbes. The symbiotic relationship existing between the host insect and lignocellulose-degrading gut microbes is explained, as well as the industrial uses of these microbes for degrading plant biomass and generating biofuels.
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.
Continuously-stirred Anaerobic Digester to Convert Organic Wastes into Biogas: System Setup and Basic Operation
Laboratory-scale anaerobic digesters allow scientists to research new ways of optimizing existing applications of anaerobic biotechnology and to evaluate the methane producing potential of various organic wastes. This article introduces a generalized model for the construction, inoculation, operation, and monitoring of a laboratory-scale continuously stirred anaerobic digester.
We describe a qualitative assay for yeast adhesion and agar invasion as a measure of invasive and pseudohyphal differentiation. This simple assay can be used to assess the invasive phenotype of various mutants as well as the effects environmental cues and signaling pathways on yeast differentiation.
This video documents small volume (~1 L) filtration of microbial biomass from the water column.
This video documents large volume (≥20 L) filtration of microbial biomass, ranging between 0.22μm and 2.7μm in diameter, from the water column.
A methodology to isolate high molecular weight and high quality genomic DNA from soil microbial community is described.
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.
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.
Protocol describing the application of a flow cell system for growing and analyzing microbial biofilms for Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM).
Establishment of Microbial Eukaryotic Enrichment Cultures from a Chemically Stratified Antarctic Lake and Assessment of Carbon Fixation Potential
Microbial eukaryotes are both a source of photosynthetically-derived carbon and top predatory species in permanently ice-covered Antarctic lakes. This report describes an enrichment culture approach to isolate metabolically versatile microbial eukaryotes from the Antarctic lake, Lake Bonney, and assesses inorganic carbon fixation potential using a radioisotope assay for Ribulose-1,5-bisphophate carboxylase oxygenase (RubisCO) activity.
The fabrication of microfluidic channels and their implementation in experiments for studying the chemotactic foraging behaviour of marine microbes within a patchy nutrient seascape and the swimming behaviour of bacteria within shear flow are described.
Jared Leadbetter takes us for a nature walk through the diversity of life resident in the termite hindgut - a microenvironment containing 250 different species found nowhere else on Earth. Jared reveals that the symbiosis exhibited by this system is multi-layered and involves not only a relationship between the termite and its gut inhabitants, but also involves a complex web of symbiosis among the gut microbes themselves.
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.
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.
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.
We present a novel method for microgavage of larval zebrafish utilizing standard embryo microinjection and stereomicroscopy equipment. We demonstrate that microgavage is a safe and efficient technique useful for delivering controlled amounts of diverse materials specifically into the larval zebrafish intestinal lumen.
We describe a method for extraction of high molecular weight genomic DNA from planktonic biomass concentrated on 0.22 μm Sterivex filters, followed by cesium chloride density gradient centrifugation for purification.
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.
Swiss microbial geneticist, Werner Arber shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Hamilton Smith and Daniel Nathans for their discovery of restriction endonucleases. Arber found that viral DNA introduced into a non-specific bacterial host was changed, while host DNA was protected by methylation. He theorized that a microbial enzyme cut the DNA into smaller pieces, while at the same time, the methylated host DNA was protected from its own enzymes. Later work done by Nathans and Smith validated his theory, which laid the foundation for recombinant DNA technology.
GC-based Detection of Aldononitrile Acetate Derivatized Glucosamine and Muramic Acid for Microbial Residue Determination in Soil
1DOE-Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 3Department of Soil and Water Science, University of Florida
We describe a method protocol for the GC-based analysis of the aldonitrile acetate derivatives of glucosamine and muramic acid extracted from soil. For elucidation of the chemical mechanism, we also present a strategy to confirm the structure of the derivative and the ion fragments formed upon electron ionization.
A method for embedding yeast colonies allowing sectioning for light and electron microscopy. This protocol allows determination of the distribution of sporulated cells and pseudohyphal cells within colonies providing a new tool toward understanding the organization of cell types within a fungal community.
1UMR CNRS 5557 Ecologie Microbienne, Université Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 2Département Biosciences, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 3INSERM U758, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 4Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Ingénierie Environnementale, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon
The design of a synthetic operon encoding both the secretory apparatus and the structural monomers of curli fibers is described. Overproduction of these amyloids and adherent polymers allows a measurable gain of adherence of the E. coli chassis1. Easy ways to visualize and quantify adherence are explained.
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.
An Analytical Tool-box for Comprehensive Biochemical, Structural and Transcriptome Evaluation of Oral Biofilms Mediated by Mutans Streptococci
1Center for Oral Biology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 2State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Sichuan University, 3Department of General Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark, 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center
Biofilms formed on tooth surfaces are highly complex and exposed to constant innate and exogenous environmental challenges, which modulate their architecture, physiology and transcriptome. We developed a toolbox to examine the composition, structural organization and gene expression of oral biofilms, which can be adapted to other areas of biofilm research.
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.
Assessing Hepatic Metabolic Changes During Progressive Colonization of Germ-free Mouse by 1H NMR Spectroscopy
A progressive colonization procedure is described to further assess its impact on the host hepatic metabolism. Colonization is monitored non invasively by evaluating the urinary excretion of microbial co-metabolites by NMR-based metabolic profiling while hepatic metabolism is assessed by High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HR MAS) NMR profiling of intact biopsy.
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.
Here are some highlights from the April 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Protocols for utilizing open system flow biofilms with drip flow reactors and rotating disk reactors are presented in detail.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here's a look at some of the milestones and highlights of the year 2012 in Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Our experiment will show how to perform a sequencing analysis of bacterial species translocating in peripheral blood of HIV positive patients.
Window on a Microworld: Simple Microfluidic Systems for Studying Microbial Transport in Porous Media
1Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education, Vanderbilt University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 3Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University, 4Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, 5Department of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut, 6Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut
Microfluidic devices can be used to visualize complex natural processes in real time and at the appropriate physical scales. We have developed a simple microfluidic device that mimics key features of natural porous media for studying growth and transport of bacteria in the subsurface.
1Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, 2Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Dalian University of Technology, 3Agriculture Centre, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Using readily available materials, this biocontained composting system enables effective on-site disposal of large animal carcasses arising in the event of infectious disease outbreak. This procedure kills most infectious agents in carcasses and contaminated manure. Once infectious agent is confirmed non-viable, mature compost can be spread as fertilizer.
Moxi Z is the only automated cell counter that combines the Coulter Principle typically used in high-end cell counters with a patented thin-film sensor technology to allow for highly accurate (> 95%) and repeatable particle counting and sizing for a broad range of cell types - from mammalian cells to cells as small as wine yeast and more. Since today's workflows demand accurate quality control of samples, determining cell counts precisely has a significant impact on outcomes and downstream costs.