When working with media and reagents used to culture microorganisms, aseptic technique must be practiced to ensure contamination is minimized. A variety of plating methods are routinely used to isolate, propagate, or enumerate bacteria and phage, all of which incorporate procedures that maintain the sterility of experimental materials.
This video shows a procedure for isolating intact protoplasts from tissues of 14-day-old seedlings of Arabidopsis. Given that the isolated protoplasts remain intact for at least 96h and are isolated from seedlings instead of one-month-old mature plants, this procedure expedites assays requiring intact protoplasts.
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.
Floral-dip Transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana to Examine pTSO2::β-glucuronidase Reporter Gene Expression
This article illustrates the floral-dip method of Agrobacterium tumefaciens -mediated transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana. By introducing a cell-cycle regulated promoter-reporter, pTSO2::β-glucuronidase (GUS), into Arabidopsis, we illustrates how one detects GUS reporter expression in transgenic seedlings.
Recording Multicellular Behavior in Myxococcus xanthus Biofilms using Time-lapse Microcinematography
To study Myxococcus xanthus swarm behavior, we have designed a time-lapse microcinematography protocol that can be modified for different assays. It employs standard growth conditions adapted for microscopy, and yields reproducible results by the use of inexpensive, reusable silicone gaskets. We have used this method to quantify multicellular chemotaxis.
To study the mutualism between Xenorhabdus bacteria and Steinernema nematodes, methods were developed to monitor bacterial presence and location within nematodes. The experimental approach, which can be applied to other systems, entails engineering bacteria to express the green fluorescent protein and visualizing, using fluorescence microscopy bacteria within the transparent nematode.
Our experiment will show how to perform a sequencing analysis of bacterial species translocating in peripheral blood of HIV positive patients.
Our protocol demonstrates how to pour multiple protein gels at a time by recycling Invitrogen Nupage Novex minigel cassettes, and inexpensive materials purchased at a home improvement store. This economical and streamlined method includes a way to store the gels at 4°C for a few weeks. By re-using the plastic gel cassettes from commercially available gels, labs that run frequent protein gels can save significant costs and help the environment.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring life span of nematodes maintained on solid media with UV-killed bacterial food.
Using RNA-mediated Interference Feeding Strategy to Screen for Genes Involved in Body Size Regulation in the Nematode C. elegans
1Department of Science, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City Universtiy of New York (CUNY), 2Department of Biology, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY), 3Biochemistry Program, The Graduate Center, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY)
We demonstrate how to use the RNAi feeding technique to knock down target genes and score body size phenotype in C. elegans. This method could be used for a large scale screen to identify potential genetic components of interest, such as those involved in body size regulation by DBL-1/TGF-β signaling.
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.
Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Complex for First and Second Line Drugs by Broth Dilution in a Microtiter Plate Format
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is challenging but critical for patient care. This microtiter plate format offers testing of 12 antimycobacterial drugs and provides minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values, which will aid in appropriate treatment.
The cranial mesenchyme undergoes dramatic morphogenic movements that likely provides a driving force for elevation of the neural folds1,2. Here we describe a simple ex vivo explant assay to characterize the cellular behaviors of the cranial mesenchyme during neurulation. This assay has numerous applications including being amenable to pharmacological manipulations and live imaging analyses.
This protocol demonstrates how to dissect Drosophila larvae in preparation for immunohistochemistry and/or imaging of the neuromuscular junction.
This technique exposes the Drosophila embryonic neuromusculature for immunohistochemistry or electrophysiological recording. It is useful for studying early events in neuromuscular development or performing electrophysiology in mutants that cannot hatch.
This method allows characterization of extended bacterial co-culture with EpiAirways, primary human respiratory epithelial tissue grown at the air-liquid interface, a biologically relevant in vitro model. The approach can be used with any microbe that is amenable to long-term co-culture.
We describe a low cost, high throughput method to screen for fungal endoglucanase activity in E. coli. The method relies on a simple visual readout of substrate degradation, does not require enzyme purification, and is highly scalable. This allows for the rapid screening of large libraries of enzyme variants.
Blue Native Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) for Analysis of Multiprotein Complexes from Cellular Lysates
1Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine (SGBM), University of Freiburg, 2Centre for Biological Signalling Studies (bioss) and Biology III, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, 3Department of Molecular Immunology, Max-Planck-Institute of Immunology and Epigenetics
In this video, we describe the characterization of multiprotein complexes (MPCs) by blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE). In a first dimension, dialyzed cellular lysates are separated by BN-PAGE to identify individual MPCs. In a second dimension SDS-PAGE, MPCs of interest are further subdivided to analyze their constituents by immunoblotting.
The methodology for fabricating synthetic vocal fold models is described. The models are life-sized and mimic the multi-layer structure of the human vocal folds. Results show the models to self-oscillate at pressures comparable to lung pressure and demonstrate flow-induced vibratory responses that are similar to those of human vocal folds.
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.
Dissection of Organizer and Animal Pole Explants from Xenopus laevis Embryos and Assembly of a Cell Adhesion Assay
This video demonstrates the technique used for preparation of organizer and animal pole explants from Xenopus laevis embryos, including the use of the eyebrow knife - a specialized dissection tool made of one's eyebrow. The protocol for assembling an adhesion assay is also given, which probes for the presence of key adhesion molecules present on the surface organizer or animal pole cells that are critical for proper development.
Plastic sections maintain true tissue morphology in thin sections of tissue that can be immunostained with fluorescent secondary antibodies, making this method more useful than paraffin-embedded or frozen sections for many types of tissue. The method for staining, plastic embedding, and sectioning is demonstrated in this video.
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.
We describe a method to prepare organotypic hippocampal slices that can be easily adapted to other brain regions. Brain slices are laid on porous membranes and culture media is allowed to form an interface. This method preserves the gross architecture of the hippocampus for up to 2 weeks in culture.
Here we demonstrate a simple protocol to create a random mutant library for a given target sequence. We show how this method, which is performed in vivo in Escherichia coli, can be coupled with functional selections to evolve new enzymatic activities.
We describe a method to separate organelles by density in living Drosophila embryos. Embryos are embedded in agar and centrifuged. This technique yields reproducible separation of major organelles along the anterior-posterior embryo axis. This method facilitates colocalization experiments and yields organelle fractions for biochemical analysis and transplantation experiments.
Elastomeric PGS scaffolds with vascular smooth muscle cells cultured in a pulsatile flow bioreactor may lead to promising small-diameter arterial constructs with native ECM production in a relatively short culture period.
This video demonstrates the preparation of primary neuronal cultures from midgastrula stage Drosophila embryos. Views of live cultures show cells 1 hour after plating and differentiated neurons after 2 days of growth in a bicarbonate-based defined medium. The neurons are electrically excitable and form synaptic connections.
Once a gene is identified as potentially refractory for the dengue virus, it must be evaluated for it's role in preventing viral infections within the mosquito. This protocol illustrates how the extent of dengue infections of mosquitoes can be assayed. The techniques for growing up the virus in culture, membrane feeding mosquitoes human blood, and assaying viral titers in the mosquito midgut are demonstrated.
Achieving high quality and appropriate quantity of human islets is one of the prominent prerequisites for successful islet transplantation. In this video, we describe step by step the procedures for human pancreatic islet isolation (part I: digestion and collection of pancreatic tissue) using a modified automated method.
Here we present a protocol for performing solid plate-based dietary restriction in C. elegans with killed bacteria.
The rapid development, small size and transparency of zebrafish are tremendous advantages for the study of innate immune control of infection1-4. Here we demonstrate techniques for infecting zebrafish larvae using the fungal pathogen Candida albicans by microinjection, methodology recently used to implicate phagocyte NADPH oxidase activity in control of fungal dimorphism5.
The abundance of neurotransmitter receptors clustered at synapses strongly influences synaptic strength. This method quantifies fluorescently-labeled neurotransmitter receptors in three dimensions with single-synapse resolution in C. elegans, allowing hundreds of synapses to be rapidly characterized within a single sample without distortions introduced by z-plane projection.
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.
Here, we demonstrate fabrication of collagen-based, tissue constructs containing skeletal myoblasts. These 3-D engineered constructs may be used to replace or repair tissues in vivo. For our purposes, we have designed these as an atrioventricular electrical conduit for the repair of complete heart block.
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.
We describe a method of measuring binding energy, expressible as tissue surface tension, between cells within 3D tissue-like aggregates. Differences in tissue surface tension have been demonstrated to correlate with invasiveness of lung, muscle, and brain tumors, and are fundamental determinants of establishing spatial relationships between different cell types.
Transgenic worms are commonly used in C. elegans research. Described is a simple, yet effective, protocol to introduce transgenes into worms using biolistic bombardment with DNA-coated gold particles. The effort involved and results of bombardment compare favorably with microinjection for the generation of transgenic animals.
Early development of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is characterized by a number of cell shape changes that are well suited for imaging approaches. This article will describe basic tools and methods required for live confocal imaging of Drosophila embryos, and will focus on a cell shape change called cellularization.
1Center for Human Genetic Research and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
We present robust biochemical and microscopic methods for studying Caenorhabditis elegans lipid stores. A rapid, simple, fixing-staining procedure for fluorescent lipid droplet imaging leverages the spectral properties of the lipophilic dye Nile red. We then present biochemical measurement of triglycerides and phospholipids using solid phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
Zebrafish cell transplantation enables the combination of genetics and embryology to generate tissue specific chimeras. This video demonstrates gastrula staged cell transplantations that have allowed our lab to investigate the roles of astroglial populations and specific guidance cues during commissure formation in the forebrain.
Telomeres are essential for chromosome stability and the telomere G-overhang structure is essential for telomerase-mediated telomere maintenance. We have recently adopted two methods for detecting the telomere G-overhang structure in Trypanosoma brucei, which are native in-gel hybridization and ligation-mediated primer extension, which will be described.
1Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Center for Molecular Neurobiology, The Ohio State University, 2Integrated Biomedical Science Graduate Program, The Ohio State University, 3Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University
Transplantation of isolated islets has been proposed to be a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes. Here we describe a method to isolate islets from mouse pancreata and transplant them to the subcapsular space of the kidney.
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 Administration TVHS
We describe the use of a mouse ES cell based assay to identify critical time windows for Wnt/β-catenin and BMP signal activation during cardiogenic induction. The method provides a standardized platform that reliably quantifies cardiogenic efficiency, and it is applicable to the study of other cell lineages.
We describe methods for live-cell video microscopy of Candida albicans phagocytosis by macrophages. These methods enable stage-specific analysis of macrophage migration, recognition, engulfment and phagosome maturation and reveal novel aspects of phagocytosis.
Primary dissociated midbrain dopamine cell cultures allow for the study of presynaptic characteristics of dopamine neurons. They can be used to monitor real-time dopamine release kinetics and protein/mRNA levels of regulators of dopamine exocytosis. Here, we show you how to generate these cultures from rodent neonates.
Denaturing urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is used to separate single-stranded DNA or RNA up to a limit of 500 nucleotides. Urea in combination with heat denatures samples and unstructured single strands migrate within the gel matrix according to their molecular weight.
Animal caps overexpressing gene product(s) are transplanted to the flank of developing Xenopus laevis embryos in order to establish whether tissue is determined.
This article describes a protocol for the extraction of translating ribosomes from eukaryotic cells. Once extracted, ribosomes are separated into monosomes and polyribosomes by sucrose gradient fractionation to allow different ribosomal populations to be analyzed. As such, this method is the gold standard for examining the regulation of translation.
The effect of substrata stiffness on cellular function can be modeled in vitro using polyacrylamide hydrogels of varying compliances.