Biolog Phenotype MicroArray
     Serious Technology for Serious Microbiology November 2013
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Food Pathogen Research

Phenotype MicroArray
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New publications illustrate the application of Phenotype MicroArray (PM) technology in food pathogen research. In this newsletter, we present three papers from the primary literature illustrating successful use of PM technology to further understand the biology of food pathogens.
 
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  Campylobacter jejuni carbon starvation protein A (CstA) is involved in peptide utilization, motility and agglutination, and has a role in stimulation of dendritic cells
CstA is one of many proteins antigenic to humans with campylobacteriosis and displays homology to E. coli CstA, which is involved in peptide uptake.  Phenotype MicroArrays were used to show CstA is indeed required to maintain WT levels of both di- and tripeptide utilization in C. jejuni. However, results also suggested the presence of additional systems for dipeptide uptake. CstA mutants display reduced motility and agglutination.  UV-killed CstA mutants were also defective at stimulating IL-12 production in murine dendritic cells.  The authors propose that CstA is involved in both peptide uptake and host-pathogen interactions.
 
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  Genetic analysis of the roles of agaA, agaI, and agaS genes in the N-acetyl-D-galactosamine and D-galactosamine catabolic pathways in Escherichia coli strains O157:H7 and C
The role of previsouly untested enzymes involved in N-acetyl-D-galactosamine (Aga) and D-galactosamine (Gam) catabolism was studied in E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli C. Phenotype MicroArrays were used to assay the utilization of a variety of sugar amines in certain mutants. Among other conclusions, results suggest that agaS codes for Gam-6-P deaminase/isomerase in the Aga/Gam pathway.
 
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  Genomic Comparison of Escherichia coli O104:H4 Isolates from 2009 and 2011 Reveals Plasmid, and Prophage Heterogeneity, Including Shiga Toxin Encoding Phage stx2
The authors present a comparative analysis of E. coli O104:H4 isolates from outbreaks in 2009 and 2011.  Phenotype MicroArrays were used to determine differences in strain phenotypes including relative chemical sensitivity phenotypes.  Relative differences in antibiotic sensitivity were consistent with genomic data.  Electron microscopy and genomics were used to reveal other differences, and outbreak strain origin was discussed.
 
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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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