Biolog Phenotype MicroArray
     Serious Technology for Serious Microbiology December 2013
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Phenotype MicroArrays Used in Mycobacterium Research

Phenotype MicroArray
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New publications illustrate the application of Phenotype MicroArray (PM) technology to Mycobacterium biology. In this newsletter, we present three papers from the primary literature illustrating successful use of PM technology in the study of Mycobacterium metabolic networks, biomarkers, and transporters.
 
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  Systems-Based Approaches to Probing Metabolic Variation within the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Complex
Metabolic networks were used to predict high-throughput phenotype data, gene-essentiality data, and growth rates.  The networks predicted a high percentage of these correctly.  Further study of certain discrepancies led to the intriguing observation that reduced metabolic capacity of bovine turberculosis strains compared to M. tuberculosis, is not reflected in current genetic or enzymatic knowledge.
 
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  High Throughput Phenotypic Analysis of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and Mycobacterium Bovis Strains' Metabolism Using Biolog Phenotype Microarrays
Biolog Phenotype MicroArrays were used to identify differential substrate usage among closely related strains of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.  Known and novel metabolic substrate usage differences were identified and PM sensitivity tests could also group Mycobacterium strains.  Enhanced dye reduction in the presence of hexoses by one strain was confirmed to result in growth synergy between hexoses and Tween 80 in culture flasks.
 
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  Characterization of the MSMEG_2631 Gene (mmp) Encoding a Multidrug and Toxic Compound Extrusion (MATE) Family Protein in Mycobacterium Smegmatis and Exploration of Its Polyspecific Nature Using Biolog Phenotype MicroArray
A multidrug and toxic compound extrusion protein was found in the genome of M. smegmatis.  Biolog Phenotype MicroArrays were used to show that the mutant has increased sensitivity to diverse compounds. Other transporters were shown to have overlapping efflux capabilities.
 
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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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