Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 30;6:10039. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10039.

A distributed cell division counter reveals growth dynamics in the gut microbiota.

Author information

  • 1Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
  • 2Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Microbial population growth is typically measured when cells can be directly observed, or when death is rare. However, neither of these conditions hold for the mammalian gut microbiota, and, therefore, standard approaches cannot accurately measure the growth dynamics of this community. Here we introduce a new method (distributed cell division counting, DCDC) that uses the accurate segregation at cell division of genetically encoded fluorescent particles to measure microbial growth rates. Using DCDC, we can measure the growth rate of Escherichia coli for >10 consecutive generations. We demonstrate experimentally and theoretically that DCDC is robust to error across a wide range of temperatures and conditions, including in the mammalian gut. Furthermore, our experimental observations inform a mathematical model of the population dynamics of the gut microbiota. DCDC can enable the study of microbial growth during infection, gut dysbiosis, antibiotic therapy or other situations relevant to human health.

PMID:
26615910
PMCID:
PMC4674677
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms10039
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center