This video demonstrates a controlled environment approach to study degradation of lignocellulosic plant tissues by aerobic fungi. The ability to control nutrient sources and moisture is a key advantage of agar-block microcosms, but the approach often yields mixed success. We address critical pitfalls to yield reproducible, low-variability results.
A method based on confocal Raman microscopy is presented that affords label-free visualization of lignin in plant cell walls and comparison of lignification in different tissues, samples or species.
Many plant tissues, including phloem and xylem from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), contain high levels of phenolics and polysaccharides that interfere with RNA purification. This presentation discusses techniques for the harvest of field-grown tissues and isolation of RNA of sufficient quality for microarrays and other genomic analyses.
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.
Using High Resolution Computed Tomography to Visualize the Three Dimensional Structure and Function of Plant Vasculature
1U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California - Davis, 3Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, 4Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 5Citrus Research & Education Center, University of Florida
High resolution x-ray computed tomography (HRCT) is a non-destructive diagnostic imaging technique that can be used to study the structure and function of plant vasculature in 3D. We demonstrate how HRCT facilitates exploration of xylem networks across a wide range of plant tissues and species.
Comprehensive Compositional Analysis of Plant Cell Walls (Lignocellulosic biomass) Part II: Carbohydrates
Plant biomass is a major carbon-neutral renewable resource that could be used for the production of biofuels. Plant biomass consists mainly of cell walls, a structurally complex composite material termed lignocellulosics. Here we describe a protocol for a comprehensive analysis of the content and composition of wall derived carbohydrates.
Plant biomass is a major carbon-neutral renewable resource that could be used for the production of biofuels. Plant biomass consists mainly of cell walls, a structurally complex composite material termed lignocellulosics. Here we describe a protocol for a comprehensive analysis of the content and composition of the polyphenolic lignin.
Stimulus-evoked [Ca2+]i signals of individual human sperm are assessed. Motile cells are loaded with Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye (AM-ester method) and immobilised in a perfusable chamber. Cells are imaged by time-lapse fluorescence microscopy and stimulated via the perfusing medium. Responses of single cells (or regions) are analysed offline using Excel.
Here are some highlights from the April 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Drosophila hemocytes disperse over the entirety of the developing embryo. This protocol demonstrates how to mount and image these migrations using embryos with fluorescently labelled hemocytes.
Methods for bioluminescence imaging of bacterial infections in living animals are decribed. Pathogens are modified to express luciferase allowing optical whole body imaging of infections in live animals. Animal models can be infected with luciferase expressing pathogens and the resulting course of disease visualized in real-time by bioluminescence imaging.
Screening for mutants with phenotypic defects is a straightforward method for identifying genes that function in a given biological process. In this article we describe how to culture free living worms (e.g., Pristionchus pacificus) in the laboratory and show two different mutagenesis methods, EMS and TMP/UV.
Deficits in fine motor coordination can be assessed with the balance beam test. Performance on the beam is quantified by the speed at which the beam is traversed and the number of times the mouse slips on the beam.
Department of Medicine, St. Luke's Roosevelt Medical Center
Transgenic mice or viral vectors have been used to increase protein expression within the lung. However, these techniques are time-consuming, technically challenging and have off-target effects that can confound results. Our protein transfection protocol uses a lipid based transfection reagent and an ultrafine microsprayer to uniformly deliver active protein to lung cells.
In this article we present a general protocol for measuring life span of nematodes maintained on solid media with UV-killed bacterial food.
This manuscript describes three complementary protocols for assessing the toxicity of polyglutamine (polyQ)-expansion proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These protocols can easily be modified to monitor the toxicity of other misfolded proteins in yeast.
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world. Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the main risk factor for cataract development. An animal model of far UVR-B induced cataract was developed. In this article we describe methods for investigation of cataract formation: exposure to UVR, quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.
Construction and Implantation of a Microinfusion System for Sustained Delivery of Neuroactive Agents.
As neuroscience inquiry becomes more sophisticated, investigation of brain structures and circuitry requires improved levels of accuracy and higher resolution. We have developed a method for the preparation and implantation of a chronic infusion system within the brain utilizing a borosilicate microcannula with a tip diameter of 50 microns.
A simple, rapid method for determining the saccharification potential of large numbers of plant biomass samples is described. The automated platform for this analysis involves the preparation of the plant biomass for analysis in 96 well plates and the subsequent performance of pretreatment, hydrolysis and quantification of the sugars released.
Here are some highlights from the July 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Here are some highlights from the March 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
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).
TMS: Using the Theta-Burst Protocol to Explore Mechasnism of Plasticity in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome and Autism
In this article, we examine the effects of Theta-Burst TMS stimulation on cortical plasticity in individuals suffering from Fragile X syndrome and individuals on the autistic spectrum.
Microfluidic Co-culture of Epithelial Cells and Bacteria for Investigating Soluble Signal-mediated Interactions
This protocol describes a microfluidic co-culture model for simultaneous and localized culture of epithelial cells and bacteria. This model can be used for investigating the role of different soluble molecular signals on pathogenesis as well as screen the effectiveness of putative probiotic bacterial strains.
1Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, UCLA, 2Basic Medicine School, Fourth Military Medical University, 3Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, 4Aerospace Medicine School, Fourth Military Medical Univeristy
In this protocol, we described a new method to study the influence of glial cell heterogeneity on axon growth with an in vitro co-culture system. Rat cortical glial cells were cultured to confluence and cocultured with highly purified rat dorsal root ganglia neurons. Different glial cell influence on neurons adhesion and axon growth was compared directly in the same culture. This method provides a new way to directly study the glial cell heterogeneity influence on neuron adhesion and axon growth.
Controlling and analyzing neural circuits in vivo would be facilitated by a technology for delivery of viruses and other reagents to desired 3-dimensional sets of brain regions. We demonstrate customized fluidic injector array fabrication, and delivery of virally-encoded optical sensitizers, enabling optical manipulation of complex brain circuits.
1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, Center for Genome Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
A method of identifying unknown drivers of carcinogenesis using an unbiased approach is described. The method uses the Sleeping Beauty transposon as a random mutagen directed to specific tissues. Genomic mapping of transposon insertions that drive tumor formation identifies novel oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes
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.
1Genetics Program, Michigan State University, 2Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, 3Human Biology Program, Michigan State University, 4Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University
Sexual crosses and isolation of recombinant progeny are important research tools for the filamentous fungus, Fusarium graminearum, The techniques necessary successfully carry out these processes are presented.
Endothelin-1 Induced Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion Model for Ischemic Stroke with Laser Doppler Flowmetry Guidance in Rat
1Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, 2Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, 3Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida, 4Department of Neurology, University of Florida
Several animal models of cerebral ischemia have been developed to simulate the human condition of stroke. This protocol describes the endothelin-1 (ET-1) induced middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model for ischemic stroke in rats. In addition, important considerations, advantages, and shortcomings of this model are discussed.
Utilizing a Cranial Window to Visualize the Middle Cerebral Artery During Endothelin-1 Induced Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
1Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida, 2Department of Neurosurgery, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 3Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
This article describes a method for visualizing rat cerebral arteries through a cranial window using temporal craniectomy in order to view proximal portions of the middle cerebral artery (Figure 1). This versatile method can be combined with various techniques of drug delivery to measure cerebral artery reactivity in vivo.
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.
In many biological and clinical situations it is advantageous to study cellular processes as they evolve in their native microenvironment. Here we describe the assembly and use of a low-cost fiber-optic microscope which can provide real time imaging in cell culture, animal studies, and clinical patient studies.
Animal models of relapse, known as reinstatement procedures, have been used extensively to study the role of stress in relapse to drug seeking. Here, we report on a method for inducing the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in laboratory rats via acute exposures to mild, intermittent electric footshock.
This protocol describes a high throughput screen for cellulolytic activity from a metagenomic library expressed in Escherichia coli. The screen is solution based and highly automated, and uses one-pot chemistry in 384 well microplates with the final readout as an absorbance measurement.
Evaluation of colonic motility in the guinea pig distal colon with the Gastrointestinal Motility Monitor (GIMM) is a straightforward and simple to learn approach to quantitatively evaluate propulsive motility in the gastrointestinal tract.
Quantitative Analyses of all Influenza Type A Viral Hemagglutinins and Neuraminidases using Universal Antibodies in Simple Slot Blot Assays
1Centre for Vaccine Evaluation, Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate, HPFB, Health canada, 2National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products, The State Food and Drug Administration, Beijing, 3Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, 4Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, 5National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada
A simple slot blot method was developed for the quantification of influenza viral hemagglutinin and neuraminidase using universal antibodies targeting their most conserved sequences identified through bioinformatics analyses. This innovative approach may provide a useful alternative to quantitative determination of all viral hemagglutinin and neuraminidase.
A recently developed novel particle agglutination (PA) assay utilizing virus receptor molecule allowed a rapid and easy identification of poliovirus (PV). In this article, we will show the procedure for the PA assay for PV identification.
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.
Herein we describe the methods to construct, visualize, and quantify the bioluminescent reactions of both firefly and renilla luciferase enzymes expressed in metastatic breast cancer cells during their growth and metastasis in vivo.
1Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Lübeck, 2Institute of Anatomie, University of Lübeck, 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, University of Lübeck, 4Medical Clinic III, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, University of Lübeck
We describe an ex vivo infection model for visualisation of direct interactions from bacterial pathogens with human fallopian tube cells. The whole organ tissue model was established to investigate C. trachomatis induced pathology to the female fallopian tube under "life-like" conditions.
An Analytical Tool that Quantifies Cellular Morphology Changes from Three-dimensional Fluorescence Images
1Medications Development, Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, 2Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of California, San Francisco, 3Translational Research Institute and the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
We developed a software platform that utilizes Imaris Neuroscience, ImarisXT and MATLAB to measure the changes in morphology of an undefined shape taken from three-dimensional confocal fluorescence of single cells. This novel approach can be used to quantify changes in cell shape following receptor activation and therefore represents a possible additional tool for drug discovery.
Driving Simulation in the Clinic: Testing Visual Exploratory Behavior in Daily Life Activities in Patients with Visual Field Defects
Patients with visual deficits after stroke report about different constraints in daily life most likely due to variable compensatory strategies, which are difficult to differentiate in clinical routine. We present a clinical set-up which allows measurement of different compensatory head- and eye-movement-strategies and evaluating their effects on driving performance.
Determination of gastric emptying with a non-invasive [13C]-octanoic acid breath test for tracking gastroparesis in female NOD LtJ mice.
Anti-retroviral therapy to treat HIV/AIDS is monitored in South Africa on a large scale. Flow cytometry is combined for haematology (CD45), immunology (CD4) and viral-load linked CD38 assay. Recorded at NHLS-SA laboratories, Johannesburg, these modern methods are cost-efficient with heightened local internal quality control, serving as role-models for resource-limited diagnostics.
Eggs and the extracellular coatings around eggs frequently release peptides, proteins and small molecules that communicate with sperm to guide them to the egg thereby promoting fertilization. Using frog sperm we describe and compare two classes of assays used to detect sperm chemoattraction – sperm accumulation assays and sperm tracking assays.
Electrode Fabrication and Implantation in Aplysia californica for Multi-channel Neural and Muscular Recordings in Intact, Freely Behaving Animals
A technique is described for implanting four in vivo electrodes to monitor the neuromuscular control of feeding behavior in Aplysia californica.
A simple and efficient method to transform Physcomitrella pantens protoplasts is described. This method is adapted from protocols for Physocmitrella protonemal protoplast and Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplast transformation1.
This paper introduces an approach of combining laser scanning photostimulation with whole cell recordings in transgenic mice expressing GFP in limited inhibitory neuron populations. The technique allows for extensive mapping and quantitative analysis of local synaptic circuits of specific inhibitory cortical neurons.