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Issue 3, 2016
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Nanoporous microscale microbial incubators

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Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing reveals abundant microbial diversity that has not been cultured in the laboratory. Many attribute this so-called ‘great plate count anomaly’ to traditional microbial cultivation techniques, which largely facilitate the growth of a single species. Yet, it is widely recognized that bacteria in nature exist in complex communities. One technique to increase the pool of cultivated bacterial species is to co-culture multiple species in a simulated natural environment. Here, we present nanoporous microscale microbial incubators (NMMI) that enable high-throughput screening and real-time observation of multi-species co-culture. The key innovation in NMMI is that they facilitate inter-species communication while maintaining physical isolation between species, which is ideal for genomic analysis. Co-culture of a quorum sensing pair demonstrates that the NMMI can be used to culture multiple species in chemical communication while monitoring the growth dynamics of individual species.

Graphical abstract: Nanoporous microscale microbial incubators

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13 Aug 2015
03 Nov 2015
First published
03 Nov 2015

Lab Chip, 2016,16, 480-488
Article type
Author version available

Nanoporous microscale microbial incubators

Z. Ge, P. R. Girguis and C. R. Buie, Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 480
DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00978B

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