Here are some highlights from the April 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
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.
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).
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.
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.
Isolation of Native Soil Microorganisms with Potential for Breaking Down Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films Used in Agriculture
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.
1SynthSys, University of Edinburgh, 2Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 06, 3UMR 7621, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Microbienne, Observatoire Océanologique, Banyuls-sur-Mer, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 06
This article describes genetic transformation of the unicellular marine alga Ostreococcus tauri by electroporation. This eukaryotic organism is an effective model platform for higher plants, possesing greatly reduced genomic and cellular complexity and being readily amenable to both cell culture and chemical biology.
Generation of RNA/DNA Hybrids in Genomic DNA by Transformation using RNA-containing Oligonucleotides
This work shows how to form an RNA/DNA hybrid at the chromosomal level and reveal transfer of genetic information from RNA to genomic DNA in yeast cells.
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.
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.
1Respiratory Infection Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, 2Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen, University Hospital Trust, 3Comprehensive Local Research Network, 4NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Microbial Diseases, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, 5Institute of Lung Health, Respiratory Biomedical Unit, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust & University of Leicester, 6Department of Clinical Infection Microbiology & Immunology, Institute of Infection & Global Health, University of Liverpool
Experimental human pneumococcal carriage offers a natural model of carriage and a potential model for use in vaccine development. This technique is valuable yet complex and involves clinical risk by introducing a pathogen into a human. We have developed a detailed protocol.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Protocol describing the application of a flow cell system for growing and analyzing microbial biofilms for Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM).
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.
Differentiating Functional Roles of Gene Expression from Immune and Non-immune Cells in Mouse Colitis by Bone Marrow Transplantation
Bone marrow transplantation provides a way to change the genotype of the bone marrow derived cells. If the gene of interest is expressed in both bone marrow derived cells and non-bone marrow derived cells, bone marrow transplantation can change the bone marrow derived cells to a different genotype without changing the non-bone marrow derived cell genotype.
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.
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.
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.
Use of LysoTracker to Detect Programmed Cell Death in Embryos and Differentiating Embryonic Stem Cells
We present a simple protocol to visualize regions of programmed cell death (PCD) in mouse embryos and differentiating embryonic stem (ES) cell cultures using a highly soluble dye called LysoTracker.
Testing Protozoacidal Activity of Ligand-lytic Peptides Against Termite Gut Protozoa in vitro (Protozoa Culture) and in vivo (Microinjection into Termite Hindgut)
We present procedures for demonstrating that ligands bind to the surface membrane of the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the gut of Formosan subterranean termites using fluorescent microscopy and that ligands coupled with lytic peptides kill these protozoa in vitro (anaerobic protozoa culture) and in vivo (injection into the termite hindgut).
Our experiment will show how to perform a sequencing analysis of bacterial species translocating in peripheral blood of HIV positive patients.
Here we describe a method to visualize endoplasmic reticulum-associated mRNAs in mammalian tissue culture cells. This technique involves the selective permeabilization of the plasma membrane with digitonin to remove cytoplasmic contents followed by fluorescent in situ hybridization to detect either bulk poly(A) mRNA or specific transcripts.
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.
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.
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.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring the replicative life span of yeast mother cells.
Department of Biology, Concordia University
We describe a new quantitative lipidomics method for identifying numerous lipid species in yeast using survey-scan electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI/MS). This method exceeds currently available methods for lipid identification and quantification in the ability to resolve various molecular forms of lipids, sensitivity, and speed.
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.
Obtaining Hemocytes from the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Euprymna scolopes and Observing their Adherence to Symbiotic and Non-Symbiotic Bacteria
This video will demonstrate how to obtain hemocytes (blood cells) from the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes for use in cell biological and bacterial adhesion assays. Hemocytes will be stained with a fluorescent dye and exposed to GFP-labeled bacteria.
We present a public computational web site for the analysis of genomic sequences. It detects DNA sequence patterns with various non-random nucleotide compositions. This resource also generates randomized sequences with diverse levels of complexity.
A standard approach to prepare adult Drosophila eyes for semi-thin sectioning and light microscopic analysis is presented here. The protocol can be used for gross morphological analysis of eye defects, or with the indicated adjustments can be used to determine genetic requirements of genes in specific cell types of the eye (e.g. clonal analysis of photoreceptors) or for electron microscopic analysis.
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.
Enzyme-linked Immunospot Assay (ELISPOT): Quantification of Th-1 Cellular Immune Responses Against Microbial Antigens
Identification of microbial targets of adaptive immunity in idiopathic diseases can be accomplished by the use of the enzyme-linked immunospot assay.
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.
Preparation of Cell-lines for Conditional Knockdown of Gene Expression and Measurement of the Knockdown Effects on E4orf4-Induced Cell Death
Contribution of the ACF chromatin remodeling factor to E4orf4-induced cell death was measured. The protocol includes selection of cell clones in which doxycycline treatment induces conditional knockdown of the ACF subunits Acf1 and SNF2h, and use of the DAPI assay to measure E4orf4-induced cell death in the inducible cell lines.
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.
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.
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.
This is a method for generating gynogenetic diploid zebrafish embryos (embryos whose only genetic contribution comes from the mother) by blocking the second meiotic division immediately after fertilization with ultraviolet light-inactivated sperm. EP embryos are not fully homozygous due to recombination during the first meiotic division, however they are homozygous at all loci that have not been separated from their centromere by recombination.
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.