Authors: Manuela Hartmann, Polly G. Hill, Eithne Tynan, Eric P. Achterberg, Raymond J.G. Leakey, and Mikhail V. Zubkov
A review by Dr Robert Hartley, CoolLED
This paper interested me in two main ways. Firstly it is an area of research that I’m unfamiliar and secondly it was an unusual use of one of our LED light sources in fluorescence microscopy.
Marine science research is an area I didn’t encounter in my undergraduate studies or research but I was fascinated to learn something new from this paper. In this work, the research groups on board a vessel in the North Atlantic Ocean analysed the effect of sea water acidity on marine plankton. Uptake of the amino acid, Leucine, is an established measurement of protein synthesis in cells. And therefore, a good indicator of metabolic resilience to an overt challenge. The groups measured leucine uptake (as opposed to existing Leucine in a cell) by using Leucine labelled with radioactive Hydrogen (Tritium 3H) and measured in a scintillation counter.
In addition, they separated bacterioplankton populations by flowcytometry and measured these independently. It is here that they used our CoolLED pE-300 in an unusual way. To be certain that the flow cytometer was cleaned properly, they took fluid samples from the cleaning water and strained them through a filter that can trap bacteria (0.2um) then stained this “trap” filter and counted how many bacteria were still in the fluid. If there were too many bacteria detectable they cleaned the cell sorter again.
In conclusion this work showed that SAR11 bacteria are resilient to acidification. Perhaps a very reassuring outcome considering their dominance in the overall planktonic population.
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