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Plant Viruses: Viruses parasitic on plants higher than bacteria.
 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Fluorescence in situ Hybridizations (FISH) for the Localization of Viruses and Endosymbiotic Bacteria in Plant and Insect Tissues

1Department of Entomology, Volcani Center, 2Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 3Department of Applied Sciences, Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation, 4The Institute of Plant Sciences, Volcani Center


JoVE 51030

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Phage Phenomics: Physiological Approaches to Characterize Novel Viral Proteins

1Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 2Computational Science Research Center, San Diego State University, 3Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research Center, San Diego State University, 4Department of Mathematics and Statistics, San Diego State University, 5Department of Computer Science, San Diego State University, 6Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 7SPARC Committee, Broad Institute


JoVE 52854

 Science Education: Essentials of Environmental Microbiology

Quantifying Environmental Microorganisms and Viruses Using qPCR

JoVE Science Education

Source: Laboratories of Dr. Ian Pepper and Dr. Charles Gerba - Arizona University
Demonstrating Author: Bradley Schmitz

Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), also known as real-time PCR, is a widely-used molecular technique for enumerating microorganisms in the environment. Prior to this approach, quantifying microorganisms was limited largely to classical culture-based techniques. However, the culturing of microbes from environmental samples can be particularly challenging, and it is generally held that as few as 1 to 10% of the microorganisms present within environmental samples are detectable using these techniques. The advent of qPCR in environmental microbiology research has therefore advanced the field greatly by allowing for more accurate determination of concentrations of microorganisms such as disease-causing pathogens in environmental samples. However, an important limitation of qPCR as an applied microbiological technique is that living, viable populations cannot be differentiated from inactive or non-living populations. This video demonstrates the use of qPCR to detect pepper mild mottle virus from an environmental water sample.

 Science Education: Essentials of Environmental Microbiology

RNA Analysis of Environmental Samples Using RT-PCR

JoVE Science Education

Source: Laboratories of Dr. Ian Pepper and Dr. Charles Gerba - Arizona University
Demonstrating Author: Bradley Schmitz

Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) involves the same process as conventional PCR — cycling temperature to amplify nucleic acids. However, while conventional PCR only amplifies deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA), RT-PCR enables the amplification of ribonucleic acids (RNA) through the formation of complementary DNA (cDNA). This enables RNA-based organisms found within the environment to be analyzed utilizing methods and technologies that are designed for DNA. Many viruses found in the environment use RNA as their genetic material. Several RNA-based viral pathogens, such as Norovirus, and indicator organisms, such as pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV), do not have culture-based detection methods for quantification. In order to detect for the presence of these RNA viruses in environmental samples from soil, water, agriculture, etc., molecular assays rely on RT-PCR to convert RNA into DNA. Without RT-PCR, microbiologists would not be able to assay and research numerous RNA-based viruses that pose risks to human and environmental health. RT-PCR can also be employed as a tool to measure microbial activity in the env

 Science Education: Essentials of Environmental Microbiology

Aseptic Technique in Environmental Science

JoVE Science Education

Source: Laboratories of Dr. Ian Pepper and Dr. Charles Gerba - Arizona University
Demonstrating Author: Luisa Ikner

Aseptic technique is a fundamental skill widely practiced in the field of environmental microbiology that requires a balance of mindfulness and practice in the laboratory. Proper use of this technique reduces the likelihood of bacterial or fungal contamination of reagents, culture media, and environmental samples. Aseptic technique is also vital to ensure data integrity and maintain the purity of culture libraries that may be comprised of very rare and difficult to culture isolates. Sources of contamination in the laboratory environment include airborne microorganisms (including those adhering to dust and lint particles), microbes present on the laboratory bench workspace or on unsterilized glassware or equipment, and microbes transferred from the body and hair of the researcher. The use of aseptic technique is also a safety measure that lowers the potential for the transmission of microorganisms to researchers, which is particularly important when working with pathogens.

 Science Education: Essentials of Environmental Microbiology

Detecting Environmental Microorganisms with the Polymerase Chain Reaction and Gel Electrophoresis

JoVE Science Education

Source: Laboratories of Dr. Ian Pepper and Dr. Charles Gerba - Arizona University
Demonstrating Author: Bradley Schmitz

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique used to detect microorganisms that are present in soil, water, and atmospheric environments. By amplifying specific sections of DNA, PCR can facilitate the detection and identification of target microorganisms down to the species, strain, and serovar/pathovar level. The technique can also be utilized to characterize entire communities of microorganisms in samples. The culturing of microorganisms in the laboratory using specialized growth media is a long-established technique and remains in use for the detection of microorganisms in environmental samples. Many microbes in the natural environment, while alive, maintain low levels of metabolic activity and/or doubling times and are thus referred to as viable but non-culturable (VBNC) organisms. The use of culture-based techniques alone cannot detect these microbes and, therefore, does not provide a thorough assessment of microbial populations in samples. The use of PCR allows for the detection of culturable microbes, VBNC organisms, and those that are no longer alive or active, as the amplification of genetic sequences does not generally require the pre-enrichment of microorga

 Science Education: Essentials of Genetics

An Overview of Genetic Engineering

JoVE Science Education

Genetic engineering – the process of purposefully altering an organism’s DNA – has been used to create powerful research tools and model organisms, and has also seen many agricultural applications. However, in order to engineer traits to tackle complex agricultural problems such as stress tolerance, or to realize the promise of gene therapy for treating human diseases, further advances in the field are still needed. Important considerations include the safe and efficient delivery of genetic constructs into cells or organisms, and the establishment of the desired modification in an organism’s genome with the least “off-target” effects. JoVE’s Overview of Genetic Engineering will present a history of the field, highlighting the discoveries that confirmed DNA as the genetic material and led to the development of tools to modify DNA. Key questions that must be answered in order to improve the process of genetic engineering will then be introduced, along with various tools used by genetic engineers. Finally, we will survey several applications demonstrating the types of experimental questions and strategies in the field today.

 Science Education: Essentials of Environmental Microbiology

Water Quality Analysis via Indicator Organisms

JoVE Science Education

Source: Laboratories of Dr. Ian Pepper and Dr. Charles Gerba - Arizona University
Demonstrating Author: Luisa Ikner

Water quality analysis monitors anthropogenic influences such as pollutants, nutrients, pathogens, and any other constituent that can impact the water’s integrity as a resource. Fecal contamination contributes microbial pathogens that threaten plant, animal, and human health with disease or illness. Increasing water demands and strict quality standards require that water being supplied for human or environmental resources be monitored for low pathogen levels. However, monitoring each pathogen associated with fecal pollution is not feasible, as laboratory techniques involve extensive labor, time, and costs. Therefore, detection for indicator organisms provides a simple, rapid, and cost effective technique to monitor pathogens associated with unsanitary conditions.

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