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Effects of low-shear modeled microgravity on a microbial community filtered through a 0.2-μm filter and its potential application in screening for novel microorganisms.

Research paper by Hideki H Aoyagi, Akiha A Kuroda

Indexed on: 11 May '12Published on: 11 May '12Published in: Journal of bioscience and bioengineering



Abstract

The effects of low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG) on a microbial community filtered through a 0.2-μm filter were investigated, and the potential application of LSMMG in the screening of microorganisms was evaluated. Pond water was passed through a 0.2-μm filter and the filtrate inoculated into two kinds of media (Schneider's insect medium, and ten-times-diluted Schneider's insect [0.1-Sch] medium). The cultures were incubated under LSMMG and normal-gravity and the microbial cell growth rates compared. Cell growth rates, final cell concentrations, and substrate consumption rates were higher in the LSMMG culture than in the normal-gravity culture. The microbial communities obtained under the various culture conditions were subjected to denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), revealing three different groups of microorganisms: (i) microorganisms whose growth rates were increased by LSMMG; (ii) microorganisms whose growth rates were suppressed or inhibited by LSMMG; and (iii) microorganisms whose growth rates were not affected by LSMMG. Sequence analysis of the microorganisms whose growth rates were increased by LSMMG showed that some had high similarity with unculturable microorganisms. When these microorganisms that displayed similarity with unculturable microorganisms were cultivated on agar plates, some of the DGGE bands present in the LSMMG culture were also present. We show that it is possible to isolate and cultivate uncultured microorganisms by using combinations of LSMMG, normal-gravity, and agar plate culturing techniques.