Navigation Links
Choosing your neighbors: MBL scientists see how microbes relate in space
Date:2/14/2011

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MALike people in cities, microbes often live in complex communities that contain many different microbial types. Also like us, microbes tend to gravitate to and "hang out" with certain other types in their community, more than with the rest. And sometimes, when opportunities arise, they move to more favorable locations.

But until recently, scientists have not been able to look at a microbial community and distinguish the spatial relationship of more than 2 or 3 kinds of microbes at once.

Now, a microscopy technique developed at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), allows scientists to see the spatial arrangement of up to 28 differently labeled microbes in a single field of view.

"We get information on the presence of many different microbes at once and get it quickly, cheaply, and perhaps more accurately than other methods," says Gary Borisy, president and director of the MBL and co-author of a paper describing the technique published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Just as you may move to a certain neighborhood because the schools are good for your kids, the neighborhood is important for microbes," Borisy says. "When we find out where (in a community) they like to hang out, that has implications for how they function."

The new technique, called CLASI-FISH (combinatorial labeling and spectral imaging fluorescent in situ hybridization), is faster than traditional ways of identifying the microbes in a sample (by laboratory culture or by DNA sequencing). Plus, it reveals the spatial structure of the community, which these methods do not.

"We don't just find out who is there. We find out where they are in space," Borisy says.

Borisy and his colleagues, including Floyd Dewhirst of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, used the technique to analyze dental plaque, a complex biofilm that is known to contain at least 600 species of microbes. They were able to visually discriminate 15 different microbial types, and to determine which 2 types (Prevotella and Actinomyces) showed the most interspecies associations.

"That might imply some functional interaction between them," Borisy says. "One may be facilitating the other to colonize the site, and the exchange will reap some benefit for them both."

The lead author on the paper is Alex M. Valm, a student in the Brown-MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences. Another team member, MBL scientist Jessica Mark Welch, is leading the effort to apply CLASI-FISH to the organization of microbial communities in another settingthe guts of mice harboring defined populations of human microbes.

"It's very possible that this technology will enable a new kind of clinical diagnostic procedure, so that it will be possible to very quickly and accurately diagnose a specimen for many kinds of microbes at once," Borisy says. "As an alternative to culturing, it could be faster, cheaper, and better."


'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New research suggests choosing different fruits and vegetables may increase phytonutrient intake
2. Research recommends compromise when choosing conservation site
3. Hershey scientists improve methods for analysis of healthful cocoa compounds
4. UCR scientists to explore new genetic tools in mosquito research: Transposable elements
5. Giant rats lead scientists to ancient face carvings
6. NRL scientists elevate warfighter readiness against invisible threats
7. Brains radio stations have much to tell scientists
8. Smithsonian scientists discover 7 new species of fish
9. Scientists urge new research policies in wake of Gulf disaster
10. Roasting coffee beans a dark brown produces valued antioxidants: UBC food scientists
11. Scientists synthesize long-sought-after anticancer agent
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Choosing your neighbors:  MBL scientists see how microbes relate in space
(Date:1/11/2016)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... developer of human interface solutions, today announced that its ... display driver integration (TDDI) products won two separate categories ... including Best Mobile Innovator and Best Technology Breakthrough. The ... overall system cost, a simplified supply chain, thinner devices, ...
(Date:1/8/2016)... MANCHESTER, United Kingdom , Jan. 8, 2016 ... innovative sensor-based diagnostic products, today announced the closing of a ... existing investors.  Proceeds from the financing will be used to ... hand-held device for detecting early-stage pressure ulcers. ... after receiving CE Mark approval. The device,s introduction has ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... NEW YORK , Jan. 7, 2016 ... as regional markets for biometric technologies and devices, identifying ... application market for various types of biometric devices. Includes ... report to: Identify newer markets and explore the ... of biometric devices. Examine each type of biometric technology, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today that Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s president and ... progress of Sangamo,s ZFP Therapeutic ® development programs ... 2:40 pm ET on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at ... Conference. The conference is being held in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia and MENLO PARK, ... Inc. (OTCQX: DMPI) ("DelMar" and the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical ... therapies, today announced that it will present at the ... on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. EST in ... Jeffrey Bacha , DelMar,s president and CEO, will provide an ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... of Semantic Graph Database technology has been recognized As “ Best in Semantic ... America Magazine. , “At Corporate America, it’s our priority to showcase prominent professionals ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016  With the growing need for ... is underway, therapies such as monoclonal antibodies, recombinant ... host of indications are in high demand. Conventionally ... development and production of these therapeutics. However, due ... high costs, novel approaches and novel expression systems ...
Breaking Biology Technology: