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Fluorescence in situ hybridization and sequential catalyzed reporter deposition (2C-FISH) for the flow cytometric sorting of freshwater ultramicrobacteria


Neuenschwander, Stefan M; Salcher, Michaela M; Pernthaler, Jakob (2015). Fluorescence in situ hybridization and sequential catalyzed reporter deposition (2C-FISH) for the flow cytometric sorting of freshwater ultramicrobacteria. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6:247.

Abstract

Flow cytometric sorting is a powerful tool to physically separate cells within mixed microbial communities. If combined with phylogenetic staining (fluorescence in situ hybridization, FISH) it allows to specifically sort defined genotypic microbial populations from complex natural samples. However, the targeted enrichment of freshwater ultramicrobacteria, such as members of the LD12 clade of Alphaproteobacteria (SAR11-IIIb), is still challenging. Current FISH protocols, even in combination with signal amplification by catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD), are not sufficiently sensitive for the distinction of these bacteria from background noise by flow cytometry, presumably due to their low ribosome content and small cell sizes. We, therefore, modified a CARD based flow sorting protocol with the aim of increasing its sensitivity to a level sufficient for ultramicrobacteria. This was achieved by a second signal amplification step mediated by horseradish peroxidase labeled antibodies targeted to the fluorophores that were previously deposited by CARD-FISH staining. The protocol was tested on samples from an oligo-mesotrophic lake. Ultramicrobacteria affiliated with LD12 Alphaproteobacteria could be successfully sorted to high purity by flow cytometry. The ratios of median fluorescence signal to background ranged around 20, and hybridization rates determined by flow cytometry were comparable to those obtained by fluorescence microscopy. Potential downstream applications of our modified cell staining approach range from the analysis of microdiversity within 16S rRNA-defined populations to that of functional properties, such as the taxon-specific incorporation rates of organic substrates.

Abstract

Flow cytometric sorting is a powerful tool to physically separate cells within mixed microbial communities. If combined with phylogenetic staining (fluorescence in situ hybridization, FISH) it allows to specifically sort defined genotypic microbial populations from complex natural samples. However, the targeted enrichment of freshwater ultramicrobacteria, such as members of the LD12 clade of Alphaproteobacteria (SAR11-IIIb), is still challenging. Current FISH protocols, even in combination with signal amplification by catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD), are not sufficiently sensitive for the distinction of these bacteria from background noise by flow cytometry, presumably due to their low ribosome content and small cell sizes. We, therefore, modified a CARD based flow sorting protocol with the aim of increasing its sensitivity to a level sufficient for ultramicrobacteria. This was achieved by a second signal amplification step mediated by horseradish peroxidase labeled antibodies targeted to the fluorophores that were previously deposited by CARD-FISH staining. The protocol was tested on samples from an oligo-mesotrophic lake. Ultramicrobacteria affiliated with LD12 Alphaproteobacteria could be successfully sorted to high purity by flow cytometry. The ratios of median fluorescence signal to background ranged around 20, and hybridization rates determined by flow cytometry were comparable to those obtained by fluorescence microscopy. Potential downstream applications of our modified cell staining approach range from the analysis of microdiversity within 16S rRNA-defined populations to that of functional properties, such as the taxon-specific incorporation rates of organic substrates.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:06 Feb 2017 13:33
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 02:15
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-302X
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.00247
PubMed ID:25873914

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