diphtheriae. Immuno-fluorescence microscopy carried out for control verified that observation (Figure 1). Additionally, this approach showed an uneven, speckled staining of the mutants, indication an altered surface structure compared to the wild-type strains. Figure 1 Immuno-fluorescence microscopy of C. diphtheriae wild-type and mutant strains.
An antiserum directed against the surface proteome of C. diphtheriae was used as primary antibody; this website Alexa Fluor 488 goat anti-rabbit was used as secondary antibody. A: ISS3319, B: Lilo1, C: ISS4060, D: Lilo2. To analyse, if all bacteria within the observed chains of mutants were still viable or if changes were correlated with detrimental effects on survival of bacteria, we carried out LIVE/DEAD staining. No significant differences were observed between wild-type and mutants in respect to viability, in all cases the majority of bacteria were fully viable and
exclusively stained by SYTO9 green and not by propidium iodide (Figure 2). During manipulation of bacteria (washing steps, resuspension of pellets), we observed that chains of mutants were occasionally broken down to smaller units. Using LIVE/DEAD staining, we could show that disruption of chains by vigorous vortexing (5 min) was not detrimental to the bacteria (Figure 2C and 2F), indicating that mutant strains have a fully functional and rigid peptidoglycan layer. Figure 2 LIVE/DEAD staining of C. diphtheriae wild-type and mutant strains. Green fluorescent bacteria have a functional MAPK Inhibitor Library cytoplasmic membrane and are stained green, red propidium iodide staining indicates non-viable
cells. A: ISS3319, B-C: Lilo1, D: ISS4060, E-F: Lilo2, C and F: cells subjected to 5 min of vigorous vortexing. For all strains, ISS3319, ISS4060, Lilo1 and Lilo2, identical doubling times of about 70 min were observed. Interestingly, with a final optical Methamphetamine density (OD600) of approx. 13, the mutants reached a more than fourfold higher OD600 compared to the corresponding wild-type strains, which reached final optical densities between 2.5 and 3. This observation corresponds nicely with the increased colony size of the mutants (data not shown) and suggests that the altered bacterial size and form has no severe impact on light scattering and consequently OD measurement. Analysis of surface proteins Since we assumed that the altered shape of the mutants might be correlated with an altered cell surface, especially in the light of the immuno-fluorescence microscopy approach (Figure 1), which showed a different antibody binding compared to the wild-type, we isolated the surface proteins of wild-type and mutant strains. When these were subjected to SDS-PAGE and silver staining, significant differences in protein patterns were observed (Figure 3A).