Dynamic secondary ion mass spectrometry imaging of microbial populations utilizing C-labelled substrates in pure culture and in soil.
ABSTRACT We demonstrate that dynamic secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)-based ion microscopy can provide a means of measuring (13)C assimilation into individual bacterial cells grown on (13)C-labelled organic compounds in the laboratory and in field soil. We grew pure cultures of Pseudomonas putida NCIB 9816-4 in minimal media with known mixtures of (12)C- and (13)C-glucose and analysed individual cells via SIMS imaging. Individual cells yielded signals of masses 12, 13, 24, 25, 26 and 27 as negative secondary ions indicating the presence of (12)C(-), (13)C(-), (24)((12)C(2))(-), (25)((12)C(13)C)(-), (26)((12)C(14)N)(-) and (27)((13)C(14)N)(-) ions respectively. We verified that ratios of signals taken from the same cells only changed minimally during a approximately 4.5 min period of primary O(2)(+) beam sputtering by the dynamic SIMS instrument in microscope detection mode. There was a clear relationship between mass 27 and mass 26 signals in Pseudomonas putida cells grown in media containing varying proportions of (12)C- to (13)C-glucose: a standard curve was generated to predict (13)C-enrichment in unknown samples. We then used two strains of Pseudomonas putida able to grow on either all or only a part of a mixture of (13)C-labelled and unlabelled carbon sources to verify that differential (13)C signals measured by SIMS were due to (13)C assimilation into cell biomass. Finally, we made three key observations after applying SIMS ion microscopy to soil samples from a field experiment receiving (12)C- or (13)C-phenol: (i) cells enriched in (13)C were heterogeneously distributed among soil populations; (ii) (13)C-labelled cells were detected in soil that was dosed a single time with (13)C-phenol; and (iii) in soil that received 12 doses of (13)C-phenol, 27% of the cells in the total community were more than 90% (13)C-labelled.
Article: Combination of fluorescent in situ hybridization and microautoradiography-a new tool for structure-function analyses in microbial ecology.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A new microscopic method for simultaneously determining in situ the identities, activities, and specific substrate uptake profiles of individual bacterial cells within complex microbial communities was developed by combining fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) performed with rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes and microautoradiography. This method was evaluated by using defined artificial mixtures of Escherichia coli and Herpetosiphon aurantiacus under aerobic incubation conditions with added [3H]glucose. Subsequently, we were able to demonstrate the potential of this method by visualizing the uptake of organic and inorganic radiolabeled substrates ([14C]acetate, [14C]butyrate, [14C]bicarbonate, and 33Pi) in probe-defined populations from complex activated sludge microbial communities by using aerobic incubation conditions and anaerobic incubation conditions (with and without nitrate). For both defined cell mixtures and activated sludge, the method proved to be useful for simultaneous identification and analysis of the uptake of labeled substrates under the different experimental conditions used. Optimal results were obtained when fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides were applied prior to the microautoradiographic developing procedure. For single-cell resolution of FISH and microautoradiographic signals within activated sludge flocs, cryosectioned sample material was examined with a confocal laser scanning microscope. The combination of in situ rRNA hybridization techniques, cryosectioning, microautoradiography, and confocal laser scanning microscopy provides a unique opportunity for obtaining cultivation-independent insights into the structure and function of bacterial communities.Applied and Environmental Microbiology 04/1999; 65(3):1289-97. · 3.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Identifying the function of uncultured microbes in their environments today remains one of the main challenges for microbial ecologists. In this article, we describe a new method allowing simultaneous analysis of microbial identity and function. This method is based on the visualization of oligonucleotide probe-conferred hybridization signal in single microbial cells and isotopic measurement using high-resolution ion microprobe (NanoSIMS). In order to characterize the potential of the method, an oligonucleotide containing iodized cytidine was hybridized on fixed cells of Escherichia coli cultured on media containing different levels of 13C or 15N. Iodine signals could clearly be localized on targeted cells and the isotopic enrichment could be monitored at the single-cell level. The applicability of this new technique to the study of in situ ecophysiology of uncultured microorganisms within complex microbial communities is illustrated.Environmental Microbiology 04/2008; 10(3):580-8. · 5.84 Impact Factor
Article: Stable isotope probing with 15N achieved by disentangling the effects of genome G+C content and isotope enrichment on DNA density.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Stable isotope probing (SIP) of nucleic acids is a powerful tool that can identify the functional capabilities of noncultivated microorganisms as they occur in microbial communities. While it has been suggested previously that nucleic acid SIP can be performed with 15N, nearly all applications of this technique to date have used 13C. Successful application of SIP using 15N-DNA (15N-DNA-SIP) has been limited, because the maximum shift in buoyant density that can be achieved in CsCl gradients is approximately 0.016 g ml-1 for 15N-labeled DNA, relative to 0.036 g ml-1 for 13C-labeled DNA. In contrast, variation in genome G+C content between microorganisms can result in DNA samples that vary in buoyant density by as much as 0.05 g ml-1. Thus, natural variation in genome G+C content in complex communities prevents the effective separation of 15N-labeled DNA from unlabeled DNA. We describe a method which disentangles the effects of isotope incorporation and genome G+C content on DNA buoyant density and makes it possible to isolate 15N-labeled DNA from heterogeneous mixtures of DNA. This method relies on recovery of "heavy" DNA from primary CsCl density gradients followed by purification of 15N-labeled DNA from unlabeled high-G+C-content DNA in secondary CsCl density gradients containing bis-benzimide. This technique, by providing a means to enhance separation of isotopically labeled DNA from unlabeled DNA, makes it possible to use 15N-labeled compounds effectively in DNA-SIP experiments and also will be effective for removing unlabeled DNA from isotopically labeled DNA in 13C-DNA-SIP applications.Applied and Environmental Microbiology 06/2007; 73(10):3189-95. · 3.83 Impact Factor