0 Q&A 576 Views Nov 20, 2022

The study of haloarchaea provides an opportunity to expand understanding of the mechanisms used by extremophiles to thrive in and respond to harsh environments, including hypersaline and oxidative stress conditions. A common strategy used to investigate molecular mechanisms of stress response involves the deletion and/or site-directed mutagenesis of genes identified through omics studies followed by a comparison of the mutant and wild-type strains for phenotypic differences. The experimental methods used to monitor these differences must be controlled and reproducible. Current methods to examine recovery of halophilic archaea from extreme stress are complicated by extended incubation times, nutrients not typically encountered in the environment, and other related limitations. Here we describe a method for assessing the function of genes during hypochlorite stress in the halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii that overcomes these types of limitations. The method was found reproducible and informative in identifying genes needed for H. volcanii to recover from hypochlorite stress.

0 Q&A 1812 Views May 20, 2022

Cyanobacteria are Gram-negative oxygen-producing photosynthetic bacteria that are useful in the pharmaceutical and biofuel industries. Monitoring of oxidative stress under fluctuating environmental conditions is important for determining the fitness, survival, and growth of cyanobacteria in the laboratory as well as in large scale cultivation systems. Here, we provide a protocol developed using unicellular Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 and filamentous Fremyella diplosiphon BK14 cyanobacteria for high-throughput oxidative stress measurement by 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein-diacetate (DCFH-DA) and flow cytometry (FCM). We also provide details for the optimization of cell number, dye concentration, and FCM parameters for each organism before it can be utilized to quantify reactive oxygen species (ROS). FCM-based method can be used to measure ROS in a large population of cyanobacterial cells in a high-throughput manner.

Graphical abstract:

0 Q&A 1644 Views Jan 20, 2022

Light is a double-edged sword: it is essential for life on the planet but also causes cellular damage and death. Consequently, organisms have evolved systems not only for harvesting and converting light energy into chemical energy but also for countering its toxic effects. Despite the omnipresence and importance of such light-dependent effects, there are very few unbiased genetic screens, if any, investigating the mechanistic consequences that visible light has on cells. Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is one of the best annotated organisms thanks to several easily available mutant collections and its amenability to high-throughput genetic screening. However, until recently this yeast was thought to lack receptors for visible light, therefore its response to visible light was poorly understood. Nevertheless, a couple of years ago it was discovered that yeast senses light via a novel and unconventional pathway involving a peroxisomal oxidase, hydrogen peroxide, and a particular type of antioxidant protein, called peroxiredoxin. Here, we describe in detail a protocol for scoring yeast genes involved in the resistance to visible light (400-700 nm) on a genome-wide scale. Because cells in dense cultures shield each other from light exposure, resulting in apparent light resistance, our method involves adaptations to reduce inoculum size under conditions amenable to high-throughput screens, to properly be able to identify light-sensitive mutants. We also describe how to measure growth in the presence of light, including two follow-up validation tests. In this way, this method makes it possible to score light-sensitivity on a genome-wide scale with high confidence.

Graphic abstract:

Overview of strategy for high-throughput determination of yeast growth upon visible light stress.

0 Q&A 1617 Views Nov 5, 2021

Fungal metallo-tolerance has been described in different species and plays an important role in bioremediation of contaminated environments. Metallo-tolerance is mainly documented by microdilution assays and agar well diffusion methods using equipment that can be expensive. The tolerance index can be calculated to determine the efficiency of a fungus to degrade and resist heavy metals. The present protocol is based on analyzing the tolerance index and minimum inhibitory concentration of the metallo-tolerance potential of culturable fungi on solid media. This can be calculated by daily measurements of colony size on agar supplemented with different concentrations of heavy metals. This method is an easy approach to determine fungal heavy metal resistance using simple laboratory equipment without spectroscopy.

0 Q&A 5690 Views Sep 20, 2018
Polyphosphate (polyP), a universally conserved biomolecule, is composed of up to 1,000 phosphate monomers linked via phosphoanhydride bonds. Reaching levels in bacteria that are in the high nmoles per mg protein range, polyP plays important roles in biofilm formation and colonization, general stress protection and virulence. Various protocols for the detection of polyP in bacteria have been reported. These methods primarily differ in the ways that polyP is extracted and/or detected. Here, we report an improved method, in which we combine polyP extraction via binding to glassmilk with a very sensitive PolyP kinase/luciferase-based detection system. By using this procedure, we significantly enhanced the sensitivity of polyP detection, making it potentially applicable for mammalian tissues.
0 Q&A 5988 Views May 20, 2018
Bacteria release cysteine to moderate the size of their intracellular pools. They can also evolve hydrogen sulfide, either through dissimilatory reduction of oxidized forms of sulfur or through the deliberate or inadvertent degradation of intracellular cysteine. These processes can have important consequences upon microbial communities, because excreted cysteine autoxidizes to generate hydrogen peroxide, and hydrogen sulfide is a potentially toxic species that can block aerobic respiration by inhibiting cytochrome oxidases. Lead acetate strips can be used to obtain semiquantitative data of sulfide evolution (Oguri et al., 2012). Here we describe methods that allow more-quantitative and discriminatory measures of cysteine and hydrogen sulfide release from bacterial cells. An illustrative example is provided in which Escherichia coli rapidly evolves both cysteine and sulfide upon exposure to exogenous cystine (Chonoles Imlay et al., 2015; Korshunov et al., 2016).
0 Q&A 8487 Views Aug 20, 2017
We analyzed the reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation in the colony-forming green microalga Botryococcus braunii in response to several stress inducers such as NaCl, NaHCO3, salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate, and acetic acid. A staining assay using the fluorescent dye CellROX Green was used. CellROX Green is a fluorogenic probe used for measuring oxidative stress in live cells. The dye is weakly fluorescent inside cells in a reduced state but exhibits bright green photostable fluorescence upon oxidation by ROS and subsequent binding to DNA. The large amount of liquid hydrocarbons produced and excreted by B. braunii, creates a highly hydrophobic extracellular environment that makes difficult to study short times defense responses on this microalga. The procedure developed here allowed us to detect ROS in this microalga even within a short period of time (in minutes) after treatment of cells with different stress inducers.
0 Q&A 10503 Views Jun 5, 2017
Organisms have developed many protective systems to reduce the toxicity from heavy metals. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been widely used to determine the protective mechanisms against heavy metals. Responses against heavy metals can be monitored by expression of reporter genes, while sensitivity can be determined by quantifying growth or survival rate following exposure to heavy metals.
0 Q&A 9221 Views Dec 20, 2016
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are unavoidable by-products of aerobic metabolism. Despite beneficial aspects as a signaling molecule, ROS are principally recognized as harmful agents that act on nucleic acids, proteins and lipids. Reactive oxygen species, and, in particular, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are deployed as defense molecules across kingdoms, e.g., by plants in order to defeat invading pathogens like fungi. Necrotrophic plant pathogenic fungi themselves secrete H2O2 to induce host cell death and facilitate infection. Hydrogen peroxide is, to a certain extent, freely diffusible through membranes. To be able to monitor intracellular hydrogen peroxide dynamics in fungi, we recently established the versatile HyPer-imaging technique in the filamentous plant pathogen Fusarium graminearum (Mentges and Bormann, 2015). HyPer consists of a circularly permuted yellow fluorescent protein (cpYFP) inserted into the regulatory domain (RD) of the prokaryotic H2O2-sensing protein, OxyR. The OxyR domain renders the sensor highly specific for H2O2. Oxidation of HyPer increases fluorescence of cpYFP excited at 488 nm and decreases fluorescence excited at 405 nm, thereby facilitating ratiometric readouts (Belousov et al., 2006). HyPer turned out to be pH-sensitive. A single amino acid mutation in the H2O2-sensing domain of HyPer renders the sensor insensitive to H2O2. This reporter is called SypHer and serves as a control for pH changes.

By using the HyPer-imaging technique, we could demonstrate that: i) HyPer imaging enables the specific and accurate detection of rapid changes in the intracellular H2O2 balance, ii) F. graminearum reacts on external stimuli with the transient production of H2O2, and iii) faces increased H2O2 level during initial infection of wheat.

The aim of this protocol is to guide the user through the basic setup of an in vitro HyPer imaging experiment in basically any fungus. It will provide the specific parameter for the fluorescence imaging as well as the construction of customized flow chambers for in vitro applications.
0 Q&A 10255 Views Nov 5, 2016
The stringent response in bacteria is a stress response that is mediated by the signaling molecules guanosine tetraphosphate and pentaphosphate [(p)ppGpp], alarmones that are also directly related to virulence. Therefore, determination of (p)ppGpp levels is crucial for studying the stringent response. The protocol here outlines in a step-wise manner the detection of (p)ppGpp in the bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor during stringent response (Strauch et al., 1991) by thin layer chromatography (TLC). In the example shown here, stringent response is induced by addition of serine hydroxamate, an inhibitor of seryl tRNA synthetase. This protocol was first published in Molecular Microbiology (Sivapragasam and Grove, 2016).