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Journal Article

Single cell fluorescence imaging of glycan uptake by intestinal bacteria

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Hehemann,  Jan-Hendrik
University Bremen - MPI Joint Research Group for Marine Glycobiology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Reintjes,  Greta
Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Amann,  Rudolf
Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Hehemann_2019.pdf
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Citation

Hehemann, J.-H., Reintjes, G., Klassen, L., Smith, A. D., Ndeh, D., Arnosti, C., et al. (2019). Single cell fluorescence imaging of glycan uptake by intestinal bacteria. The ISME Journal, 13(7), 1883-1889. doi:10.1038/s41396-019-0406-z.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-C1E4-F
Abstract
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 alpha-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.