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Biopolymers. 2005 Apr 15;77(6):368-77.

Spectroscopic characterization of microorganisms by Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy.

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Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802, USA.


Spectroscopic fingerprints of bacteria were investigated by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy for the elucidation of chemical composition and structural information during growth. Good differentiation of six microorganisms was achieved down to the strain level. The inherent compositional and structural differences of cell envelopes and cytoplasm were investigated and utilized to obtain more detailed analysis of the spectroscopic features. Bands or regions of key functional groups were also identified in the original spectra. Microspectroscopic monitoring of bacterial growth demonstrated that FTIR spectroscopy cannot only provide molecular fingerprints of the cell envelope, but also compositional and metabolic information of the cytoplasm under different physiological conditions. This approach could be an effective alternative to traditional nutritional and biochemical methods to monitor and assess the effects of inhibitors and other environmental factors on microbial cell growth.

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