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  • Nanoscale Phenotypic Textures of Yersinia pestis Across Environmentally-Relevant Matrices.

Nanoscale Phenotypic Textures of Yersinia pestis Across Environmentally-Relevant Matrices.

Microorganisms (2020-01-26)
Kanwal M Iqbal, Massimo F Bertino, Muhammed R Shah, Christopher J Ehrhardt, Vamsi K Yadavalli
ABSTRACT

The persistence of bacterial pathogens within environmental matrices plays an important role in the epidemiology of diseases, as well as impacts biosurveillance strategies. However, the adaptation potentials, mechanisms for survival, and ecological interactions of pathogenic bacteria such as Yersinia pestis are largely uncharacterized owing to the difficulty of profiling their phenotypic signatures. In this report, we describe studies on Y. pestis organisms cultured within soil matrices, which are among the most important reservoirs for their propagation. Morphological (nanoscale) and phenotypic analysis are presented at the single cell level conducted using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), coupled with biochemical profiles of bulk populations using Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Profiling (FAME). These studies are facilitated by a novel, customizable, 3D printed diffusion chamber that allows for control of the external environment and easy harvesting of cells. The results show that incubation within soil matrices lead to reduction of cell size and an increase in surface hydrophobicity. FAME profiles indicate shifts in unsaturated fatty acid compositions, while other fatty acid components of the phospholipid membrane or surface lipids remained consistent across culturing conditions, suggesting that phenotypic shifts may be driven by non-lipid components of Y. pestis.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
1-Undecanethiol, 98%
Millipore
Tryptic Soy Broth - Dehydrated Culture Media, GranuCult® prime, USP, EP, JP, ISO 21871, granular, suitable for pathogen testing