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Analyst. 2009 May;134(5):838-41. doi: 10.1039/b900069k. Epub 2009 Mar 16.

In vivo recognition of Bacillus subtilis by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS).

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


Desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) of culture of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis as a biofilm growing on agar nutrient gives simple, high quality mass spectra dominated in both the positive and negative ion modes by signals due to the cyclic lipopeptide, Surfactin(C15). This in vivo experiment, performed by direct analysis of untreated microorganism samples under ambient conditions, allows rapid identification of this microorganism and the antibiotics that it produces. The result is suggestive of the capabilities of DESI-MS for in vivo microorganism characterization in general and for monitoring fermentation processes for the production of antibiotics and other biochemicals.

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