Bacterial populations display high heterogeneity in viability and physiological activity at the single-cell level, especially under stressful conditions. We demonstrate a novel staining protocol for multiparameter assessment of individual cells in physiologically heterogeneous populations of cyanobacteria. The protocol employs fluorescent probes, i.e., redox dye 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride, dead cell nucleic acid stain SYTOX Green, and DNA-specific fluorochrome 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole, combined with microscopy image analysis. Our method allows simultaneous estimates of cellular respiration activity, membrane and nucleoid integrity, and allows the detection of photosynthetic pigments fluorescence along with morphological observations. The staining protocol has been adjusted for, both, laboratory and natural populations of the genus Phormidium (Oscillatoriales), and tested on 4 field-collected samples and 12 laboratory strains of cyanobacteria. Based on the mentioned cellular functions we suggest classification of cells in cyanobacterial populations into four categories: (i) active and intact; (ii) injured but active; (iii) metabolically inactive but intact; (iv) inactive and injured, or dead.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.