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Reference: Momeni B and Shou W (2012) Cryosectioning yeast communities for examining fluorescence patterns. J Vis Exp (70)

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Abstract

Microbes typically live in communities. The spatial organization of cells within a community is believed to impact the survival and function of the community(1). Optical sectioning techniques, including confocal and two-photon microscopy, have proven useful for observing spatial organization of bacterial and archaeal communities(2,3). A combination of confocal imaging and physical sectioning of yeast colonies has revealed internal organization of cells(4). However, direct optical sectioning using confocal or two-photon microscopy has been only able to reach a few cell layers deep into yeast colonies. This limitation is likely because of strong scattering of light from yeast cells(4). Here, we present a method based on fixing and cryosectioning to obtain spatial distribution of fluorescent cells within Saccharomyces cerevisiae communities. We use methanol as the fixative agent to preserve the spatial distribution of cells. Fixed communities are infiltrated with OCT compound, frozen, and cryosectioned in a cryostat. Fluorescence imaging of the sections reveals the internal organization of fluorescent cells within the community. Examples of yeast communities consisting of strains expressing red and green fluorescent proteins demonstrate the potentials of the cryosectioning method to reveal the spatial distribution of fluorescent cells as well as that of gene expression within yeast colonies(2,3). Even though our focus has been on Saccharomyces cerevisiae communities, the same method can potentially be applied to examine other microbial communities.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't | Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural | Video-Audio Media
Authors
Momeni B, Shou W
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