Biolog Phenotype MicroArray
     Serious Technology for Serious Microbiology February 2016
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Pathogens Studied with Phenotype MicroArrays

Phenotype MicroArray
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Phenotype MicroArrays (PM) have been applied to Clostridium research ranging from creating functional metabolic profiles to testing hypotheses of gene function. In this issue we present four recent publications highlighting the use of PM in Clostridium research for nutritional profiling, comparative phenomics, phenotype discovery, and toxin quantification.
 
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  Comparative Genomic and Phenomic Analysis of Clostridium difficile and Clostridium sordellii, Two Related Pathogens with Differing Host Tissue Preference
Comparative genomics and comparative phenomics were analyzed to improve understanding of these related pathogens and their host tissue preference. Phenotype MicroArray analysis revealed that C. sordellii uses more complex carbon and nitrogen sources and that C. sordellii is better able to grow at low pH. The authors concluded that these phenotypic differences might be important in determining host tissue preference.
 
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  Comparative Nutritional and Chemical Phenome of Clostridium difficile Isolates Determined Using Phenotype Microarrays
Phenotype MicroArrays were used to understand the role of phenotypic diversity in virulence. A recent hypervirulent outbreak strain was found to have an expanded metabolic potential. The authors speculate that such expanded metabolic potential could be acquired via gene acquisition. These nutritional requirements could be used in interventions as well as in the design of tube feeding formulas.
 
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  Clostridium difficile Glutamate Dehydrogenase is a Secreted Enzyme that Confers Resistance to H2O2

Phenotype MicroArray comparison of the gluD mutant and its parent revealed slight sensitivity to menadione providing a clue about the mutant's sensitivity to reactive oxygen species (ROS). The presence of GDH in the supernatant of C. difficile cultures suggest a possible role in pathogenesis. The observed sensitivity of the gluD mutant to ROS is consistent with this hypothesis.
 
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  Using Phenotype MicroArrays to Determine Culture Conditions That Induce or Repress Toxin Production by Clostridium difficile and Other Microorganisms
Lei and Bochner developed a new assay for toxin quantification. They combined the new assay with Phenotype MicroArrays as a source of diverse culture conditions. After testing 768 conditions, they identified metabolic substrates that either induce or repress toxin production. They propose that this new functional cytotoxin quantification method be applied to toxigenic microorganisms.
 
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Phenotype MicroArray Technology
Biolog's Phentoype MicroArray technology enables researchers to evaluate nearly 2000 phenotypes of a microbial cell in a single experiment. This integrated system of cellular assays, instrumentation and bioinformatics software provides cellular knowledge that complements molecular information, helping you interpret and find the relevant aspects in massive amounts of gene expression or proteomics data. Through comprehensive and precise quantitation of phenotypes, researchers are able to obtain an unbiased perspective of the effect on cells of genetic differences, environmental change, exposure to chemicals or drugs, and more.
 
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