Bacterial Fingerprinting by Flow Cytometry: Bacterial Species Discrimination

Bacterial Fingerprinting by Flow Cytometry: Bacterial Species Discrimination

Bacterial Fingerprinting by Flow Cytometry: Bacterial Species Discrimination

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A flow cytometric measurement (FCM) technique has been developed to size DNA fragments. Individual fragments of a restriction digest of genomic DNA, stained with an intercalating dye, are passed through an ultrasensitive cytometer. The measured fluorescence intensity from each fragment is proportional to the fragment length.

METHODS:

The isolation of bacterial genomic DNA and digestion by restriction enzymes were performed inside an agarose plug. Rare cutting enzymes were employed to produce a manageable number of DNA fragments. Electroelution was used to move the DNA fragments from the agarose plug into a solution containing polyamines to protect the DNA from shear-induced breakage. The DNA was stained with the bisintercalating dye thiazole orange homodimer and introduced into our ultrasensitive flow cytometer. A histogram of the fluorescence intensities (fingerprint) was constructed.

RESULTS:

Gram-positive Bacillus globigii and gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Erwinia herbicola were distinguished by the fingerprint pattern of restriction fragments of their genomic DNA. DNA sizes determined by FCM are in good agreement with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. Flow cytometry requires only picogram quantities of purified DNA and takes less than 10 min for data collection and analysis. When the total sample preparation time is included, the analysis times for PFGE and FCM are similar ( approximately 3 days).

CONCLUSIONS:

FCM is an attractive technique for the identification of bacterial species. It is more sensitive and potentially much faster than PFGE.

read online

Post Comment