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.
The model organism C. elegans uses pseudocoelomic fluid as a passive circulatory system. Direct assay of this fluid has not been previously possible. Here we present a novel technique to directly assay the extracellular space, and use systemic silencing signals during an RNAi response as a proof of principle example.
We describe a sensitized method to identify postembryonic regulators of protein expression and localization in C. elegans using an RNAi-based genomic screen and an integrated transgene that expresses a functional, fluorescently tagged protein.
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.
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.
Department of Biology, Concordia University
Micromanipulation of yeast cells is needed for meiotic genetic analysis or to select diploid zygotes. These micromanipulations are carried out using the microneedle of a dissection microscope. The microneedle is used to relocate cells and is controlled by a micromanipulator which are available with various degrees of automation.
A quick and efficient method to integrate foreign DNA of interest into pre-made acceptor strains, termed landing pad strains, is described. The method allows site-specific integration of a DNA cassette into the engineered landing pad locus of a given strain, through conjugation and expression of the ΦC31 integrase.
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).
Listeria monocytogenes is a model organism for studying immune responses and genetic susceptibility to intracellular bacteria in mice. This method enables one to measure bacterial load and generate single-cell suspensions of the liver and spleen from mice for FACS analysis to determine changes in immune cells due to Listeria infection.
Genetic studies in yeast can be employed to investigate the molecular and cellular functions of human genes in cellular DNA metabolism. Methods are described for the genetic characterization of the human WRN gene product defective in the premature aging disorder Werner syndrome in functionally conserved pathways using yeast as a tractable model system.
1Department of Synthetic Biology and Bioenergy, J. Craig Venter Institute, 2Department of Microbial and Environmental Genomics, J. Craig Venter Institute, 3Donnelly Centre & Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 4Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mt Sinai Hospital
The Green Monster method enables the rapid assembly of multiple deletions marked with a reporter gene encoding green fluorescent protein. This method is based on driving yeast strains through repeated cycles of sexual assortment of deletions and fluorescence-based enrichment of cells carrying more deletions.
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.
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.
Aplysia californica neurons develop large growth cones in culture that are excellent for high-resolution imaging of growth cone motility and guidance. Here, we present a protocol for dissection and plating of Aplysia bag cell neurons as well as for setting up a chamber for live cell imaging.
Programmed cell death assays commonly used in mammalian systems such as DNA laddering or TUNEL assays, are often difficult to reproduce in plants. In combination with a GUS reporter system, we propose a rapid, plant based transient assay to analyze the potential death properties of specific genes.
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.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring the replicative life span of yeast mother cells.
This video will demonstrate methods to transurethrally induce mouse urinary tract infections and quantify the extent of resulting infections.
1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Institute of Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, 2Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Institute of Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University
We present the detailed protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) assay in cotton. The tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-derived VIGS vectors were deployed to induce RNA silencing of cotton GrCLA1, Cloroplastos alterados 1 gene. The albino phenotype caused by silencing GrCLA1 was observed at the seedling stage within 2 weeks after inoculation.
Here we describe a growth assay for Staphylococcus aureus using hemoglobin as the sole source of available nutrient iron. This assay establishes the role of bacterial factors involved in hemoglobin-derived iron acquisition.
Here we present a protocol for performing solid plate-based dietary restriction in C. elegans with killed bacteria.
A cell death-based assay for PTI in Nicotiana benthamiana plants is described.
We have developed a simple and reproducible protocol to access stomatal response to live bacteria. This method minimizes wounding and manipulation of the leaf as compared to the use of epidermal peels reported previously.
TransFLP — A Method to Genetically Modify Vibrio cholerae Based on Natural Transformation and FLP-recombination
A quick method to modify the genome of V. cholerae is described. These modifications include the deletion of single genes, gene clusters and genomic islands as well as the integration of short sequences (e.g. promoter elements or affinity-tag sequences). The method is based on the natural transformation and FLP-recombination.
This technique provides a method to harvest, normalize and quantify intracellular growth of bacterial pathogens that are pre-cultivated in natural protozoan host cells prior to infections of mammalian cells. This method can be modified to accommodate a wide variety of host cells for the priming stage as well as target cell types.
Mapping Bacterial Functional Networks and Pathways in Escherichia Coli using Synthetic Genetic Arrays
1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, 3Department of Biochemistry, Research and Innovation Centre, University of Regina
Systematic, large-scale synthetic genetic (gene-gene or epistasis) interaction screens can be used to explore genetic redundancy and pathway cross-talk. Here, we describe a high-throughput quantitative synthetic genetic array screening technology, termed eSGA that we developed for elucidating epistatic relationships and exploring genetic interaction networks in Escherichia coli.
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.
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.
Chronological aging in yeast refers to the loss of cell viability associated with time in stationary phase. Here we describe a high-throughput method for quantitatively determining yeast chronological life span.
A detailed protocol is described for imaging the real time formation of DNA repair complexes in Bacillus subtilis cells.
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.
This article describes a method for the isolation and purification of intact Legionella-containing vacuoles (LCVs) from amoeba and macrophages. The two-step protocol comprises LCV enrichment by immuno-magnetic separation using an antibody against a bacterial LCV marker and further purification by density gradient centrifugation.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring life span of nematodes maintained on solid media with UV-killed bacterial food.
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.
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis depends on adaptor proteins that coordinate cargo selection and clathrin coat assembly. Here we describe procedures to study adaptor-clathrin physical interaction and live cell imaging approaches using as a model the yeast endocytic adaptor protein Sla1p.
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.
Expression and Purification of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Attempts to express the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have, until now, yielded relatively low amounts of protein. This protocol and the associated reagents distributed via the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation should allow the preparation of milligram amounts of this 'difficult' eukaryotic membrane protein.
The easiness of maintaining and propagating the nematode C. elegans make it a nice model organism to work with. The possibility of synchronizing worms allows the work with a significant amount of subjects at the same developmental stage, what facilitates the study of one particular process in many animals.
To understand a link between the immune response and behavior, we describe a method to measure locomotor behavior in Drosophila during bacterial infection as well as the ability of flies to mount an immune response by monitoring survival, bacterial load, and real-time activity of a key regulator of innate immunity, NFκB.
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.
Here we describe methods to test C. elegans associative learning and short- and long-term associative memory. These population assays employ the worms abilities to chemotax toward volatile odorants, and form positive associations upon pairing food with the chemoattractant butanone. Increasing the number of conditioning periods induces long-term memory.
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Pittsburgh
The ability to produce transgenes for Caenorhabditis elegans using genomic DNA carried by fosmids is particularly attractive as all of the native regulatory elements are retained. Described is a simple and robust procedure for the production of transgenes via recombineering with the galK selectable marker.
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.
Affinity Precipitation of Active Rho-GEFs Using a GST-tagged Mutant Rho Protein (GST-RhoA(G17A)) from Epithelial Cell Lysates
1Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, 2Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, 3Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The method presented here describes an assay to follow activation of RhoA specific GDP/GTP Exchange Factors (GEFs) in cultured cells by making use of a mutant RhoA GST fusion protein that has high affinity for activated GEFs. GEFs are precipitated from cell lysates, detected by Western blotting and quantified by densitometry.
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.
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.
The steps necessary for daily tuning and optimization of the performance of a CyTOF mass cytometer are described. Comments on optimal sample preparation and flow rate are discussed
Quantitatively Measuring In situ Flows using a Self-Contained Underwater Velocimetry Apparatus (SCUVA)
1Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2Environmental Science and Marine Biology, Roger Williams University, 3Marine Biology Laboratory, Whitman Center, 4Department of Biology, Providence College, 5Departments of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology
This protocol provides instructions on how to use a self-contained underwater velocimetry apparatus (SCUVA), which is designed for quantification of in situ animal-generated flows. In addition, this protocol addresses challenges posed by field conditions, and includes operator motion, predicting position of animals, and orientation of SCUVA.
Fopius arisanus is an egg-larval parasitoid of Tephritid fruit flies that is successfully used in biological control of these important tropical pests. We describe here an optimized protocol for rearing F. arisanus on a small scale using readily available materials.
This video demonstrates New culture, a method by which chick embryos are cultured outside the egg for up to 24 hr. This method enables one to study early development (primitive streak to 14 som.), a period corresponding to E7-9 in mouse. Applications of this technique include electroporation, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.