Lookup NU author(s): Dr Didier Ndeh
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
© 2019, The Author(s). Microbes in the intestines of mammals degrade dietary glycans for energy and growth. The pathways required for polysaccharide utilization are functionally diverse; moreover, they are unequally dispersed between bacterial genomes. Hence, assigning metabolic phenotypes to genotypes remains a challenge in microbiome research. Here we demonstrate that glycan uptake in gut bacteria can be visualized with fluorescent glycan conjugates (FGCs) using epifluorescence microscopy. Yeast α-mannan and rhamnogalacturonan-II, two structurally distinct glycans from the cell walls of yeast and plants, respectively, were fluorescently labeled and fed to Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron VPI-5482. Wild-type cells rapidly consumed the FGCs and became fluorescent; whereas, strains that had deleted pathways for glycan degradation and transport were non-fluorescent. Uptake of FGCs, therefore, is direct evidence of genetic function and provides a direct method to assess specific glycan metabolism in intestinal bacteria at the single cell level.
Author(s): Hehemann J-H, Reintjes G, Klassen L, Smith AD, Ndeh D, Arnosti C, Amann R, Abbott DW
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: ISME Journal
Issue: ePub ahead of Print
Online publication date: 01/04/2019
Acceptance date: 27/02/2019
ISSN (print): 1751-7362
ISSN (electronic): 1751-7370
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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