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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Here are some highlights from the April 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 methods for collecting coastal marine water samples and processing them for various downstream applications including biomass concentration, nucleic acid purification, cell abundance, nutrient and trace gas analyses.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Protocol describing the application of a flow cell system for growing and analyzing microbial biofilms for Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM).
1Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 3Department of Pediatrics and Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
A reliable method for the RNA isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa recovered from murine cecums is described. The RNA recovered is of sufficient quantity and quality for subsequent qPCR, transcription profiling, and RNA Seq experiments. This technique can be adapted for RNA isolation of other intestinal microbes.
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.
A methodology to isolate high molecular weight and high quality genomic DNA from soil microbial community is described.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Insect hemocytes carry out many important functions, both immune and non-immune, throughout all stages of insect development. Our present knowledge of hemocyte types and function comes from studies on insect genetic models. Here, we present a method for extracting, quantifying and visualizing hemocytes from wild caterpillars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This video demonstrates whole mount immunohistochemistry, a method by which the spatial and temporal expression pattern of an antigen can be visualized in young chick embryos. This method was originally introduced by Jane Dodd and Tom Jessell.
There is an increasing interest in understanding the immunological functions of specific subpopulations of cells in Peyer's patches (PPs), the primary inductive sites of gut-associated lymphoid tissues. Here we outline parallel protocols for preparing PP single cell preparations for flow cytometric analysis and PP cryosections for immunostaining.
We developed and validated a small-footprint array of miniature chemostats built from readily available parts for low cost. Physiological and experimental evolution results were similar to larger volume chemostats. The ministat array provides a compact, inexpensive, and accessible platform for traditional chemostat experiments, functional genomics, and chemical screening applications.
Unfixed frozen tissue samples embedded in Optimal Cutting Temperature medium (OCT) can be used to study natural distribution and glycosylation of secreted mucus. In this approach tissue processing is minimal and the natural presentation of glycolipids, mucins and glycan-epitopes is preserved. Tissue sections can be analyzed by immunohistochemistry using fluorescence or chromogenic detection.
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.
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.
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.
Using Bioluminescent Imaging to Investigate Synergism Between Streptococcus pneumoniae and Influenza A Virus in Infant Mice
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, 2Laboratory of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 3The Centre for Dynamic Imaging, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research
A concurrent infection with influenza A virus is one of the factors implicated in the induction of invasive pneumococcal disease during asymptomatic Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage. Here we describe a mixed infection method using infant mice to investigate the synergism between these two respiratory pathogens.
A Chitosan Based, Laser Activated Thin Film Surgical Adhesive, 'SurgiLux': Preparation and Demonstration
The fabrication of a novel, flexible thin film surgical adhesive from FDA approved ingredients, chitosan and indocyanine green is described. Bonding of this adhesive to collagenous tissue through a simple activation process with a low-powered infra-red laser is demonstrated.
This paper describes a protocol for whole body hyperthermia in mice that can stimulate fever like conditions up to 12-24 hr.
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.
Experimental rat endocarditis model due to methicillin-resistant S. aureus.
The intensely studied nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans can be transgenically engineered to express the human β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Induced expression of Aβ in C. elegans muscle leads to a rapid, reproducible paralysis phenotype that can be used to monitor treatments that modulate Aβ toxicity.