Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1128/aem.01806-07
Title (Primary) In situ activity of suspended and immobilized microbial communities as measured by fluorescence lifetime imaging
Author Walczysko, P.; Kuhlicke, U.; Knappe, S.; Cordes, C.; Neu, T.R.
Source Titel Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Year 2008
Department FLOEK
Volume 74
Issue 1
Page From 294
Page To 299
Language englisch
Abstract In this study, the feasibility of fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) for measurement of RNA:DNA ratios in microorganisms was assessed. The fluorescence lifetime of a nucleic acid-specific probe (SYTO 13) was used to directly measure the RNA:DNA ratio inside living bacterial cells. In vitro, SYTO 13 showed shorter fluorescence lifetimes in DNA solutions than in RNA solutions. Growth experiments with bacterial monocultures were performed in liquid media. The results demonstrated the suitability of SYTO 13 for measuring the growth-phase-dependent RNA:DNA ratio in Escherichia coli cells. The fluorescence lifetime of SYTO 13 reflected the known changes of the RNA:DNA ratio in microbial cells during different growth phases. As a result, the growth rate of E. coli cells strongly correlated with the fluorescence lifetime. Finally, the fluorescence lifetimes of SYTO 13 in slow- and fast-growing biofilms were compared. For this purpose, biofilms developed from activated sludge were grown as autotrophic and heterotrophic communities. The FLIM data clearly showed a longer fluorescence lifetime for the fast-growing heterotrophic biofilms and a shorter fluorescence lifetime for the slow-growing autotrophic biofilms. Furthermore, starved biofilms showed shorter lifetimes than biofilms supplied with glucose, indicating a lower RNA:DNA ratio in starved biofilms. It is suggested that FLIM in combination with SYTO 13 represents a useful tool for the in situ differentiation of active and inactive bacteria. The technique does not require radioactive chemicals and may be applied to a broad range of sample types, including suspended and immobilized microorganisms.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Walczysko, P., Kuhlicke, U., Knappe, S., Cordes, C., Neu, T.R. (2008):
In situ activity of suspended and immobilized microbial communities as measured by fluorescence lifetime imaging
Appl. Environ. Microb. 74 (1), 294 - 299 10.1128/aem.01806-07