Spatiotemporal microbial single-cell analysis using a high-throughput microfluidics cultivation platform.

TitleSpatiotemporal microbial single-cell analysis using a high-throughput microfluidics cultivation platform.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGrünberger, A, Probst, C, Helfrich, S, Nanda, A, Stute, B, Wiechert, W, von Lieres, E, Nöh, K, Frunzke, J, Kohlheyer, D
JournalCytometry A
Date Published2015 Sep 8

Cell-to-cell heterogeneity typically evolves due to a manifold of biological and environmental factors and special phenotypes are often relevant for the fate of the whole population but challenging to detect during conventional analysis. We demonstrate a microfluidic single-cell cultivation platform that incorporates several hundred growth chambers, in which isogenic bacteria microcolonies growing in cell monolayers are tracked by automated time-lapse microscopy with spatiotemporal resolution. The device was not explicitly developed for a specific organism, but has a very generic configuration suitable for various different microbial organisms. In the present study, we analyzed Corynebacterium glutamicum microcolonies, thereby generating complete lineage trees and detailed single-cell data on division behavior and morphology in order to demonstrate the platform's overall capabilities. Furthermore, the occurrence of spontaneously induced stress in individual C. glutamicum cells was investigated by analyzing strains with genetically encoded reporter systems and optically visualizing SOS response. The experiments revealed spontaneous SOS induction in the absence of any external trigger comparable to results obtained by flow cytometry (FC) analyzing cell samples from conventional shake flask cultivation. Our microfluidic setup delivers detailed single-cell data with spatial and temporal resolution; complementary information to conventional FC results. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

Alternate JournalCytometry A