Biolog Phenotype MicroArray
     Serious Technology for Serious Microbiology October 2015
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Phenotype MicroArrays Used to Study Chemical Sensing by Microorganisms

Phenotype MicroArray
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This issue focusses on how cells can perceive the extracellular chemical environment and translate that information into action. The papers in this issue involve chemical sensing of metabolic substrates, toxins, or invaded host tissue. Similar to the diversity of chemical stimuli, responses are also diverse. In each case, Phenotype MicroArrays played a role in experiments studying chemical sensing.      
 
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  A Direct Screen for c-di-GMP Modulators Reveals a Salmonella typhimurium Periplasmic ʟ-Arginine-Sensing Pathway
A FRET-based biosensor for cyclic di-GMP and Phenotype MicroArrays were used to identify several metabolic substrates that modulate c-di-GMP concentrations in the cell. Proteins required for response to individual substrates were also identified. This second messenger biosensor in conjunction with Phenotype MicroArrays found environmental signals that modify cell behavior.
 
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  A High-Throughput Screen for Ligand Binding Reveals the Specificities of Three Amino Acid Chemoreceptors from Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae
A new fluorescence-based thermal shift assay for detection of ligand binding was used in conjunction with Biolog's PM3 plate, which contains diverse nitrogen substrates, to create ligand binding profiles for several chemoreceptor ligand binding domains. P. syringae homologs of previously characterized P. aeruginosa chemoreceptors were studied. Results show distinct ligand binding profiles and a critical amino acid residue in one homolog that determines specificity.
 
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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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  Nutrient Profiling Reveals Potent Inducers of Trichothecene Biosynthesis in Fusarium graminearum
Donald Gardiner's group used Phenotype MicroArrays and a GFP reporter gene to identify inducers of tricothecene biosynthesis. The TRI5-GFP reporter (05T0017) was grown in Phenotype MicroArrays and read for fluorescence and turbidity. PM Substrates inducing the reporter gene suggest involvment of the arginine-polyamine biosynthetic pathway in plants.
 
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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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