Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 15, pp 6673–6685 | Cite as

13-Docosenamide release by bacteria in response to glucose during growth—fluorescein quenching and clinical application

  • Elavarasan Tamilmani
  • Rohit Radhakrishnan
  • K. SankaranEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Our investigations on extracellular biochemical events to find readily and sensitively detectable/measurable molecular targets for developing easier, simpler, and quicker diagnostic methods and tools for bacterial pathogens led to the observation that bacteria grown in the presence of glucose produced a compound capable of quenching fluorescein. Under the experimental conditions, among various sugars, glucose was found to induce maximum amount of the quencher when Escherichia coli was grown in presence of 50 mM glucose in rarified LB. The release of quencher closely following bacterial growth significantly from fourth hour after moderate inoculation. This fluorescein-quencher was purified using TLC and HPLC and identified using GC-MS as 13-docosenamide or erucamide, originally known as plant lipid, is a neuroactive compound in human and animals. Fluorescence and UV-absorption spectral analysis showed that the compound formed stable adduct with fluorescein in the ground state. Commercial 13-docosonamide enabled quantitation of the compound produced in micromolar quantities during glucose utilization from the medium. Twenty-seven different commonly encountered bacteria, pathogens or otherwise, could produce the quencher. A simple microplate-based growth monitoring method was developed exploiting quenching as an easily and readily measurable signal, either using a reader or an imager. While 13-docosenamide release by bacteria may be relevant in host-bacteria interactions, especially when growing under conditions that provide glucose, the new approach with inexpensive reagents can provide a new antibiogram technique.


Molecular targets Quenching Rarified LB Quencher Eurcamide Adduct formation Growth monitoring 13-docosenamide New antibiogram technique 



We acknowledge Dr. P. Kaliraj, ICMR Emeritus Scientist, Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University for mentoring with valuable inputs. We acknowledge Dr. Vanaja Kaliraj and Dr. K. Prashanth of Priya Diagnostics, Chennai, for their intellectual and clinical support in the study.

Funding information

We acknowledge the financial support from the Technology Development and Transfer division of Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for the work through National Hub for Healthcare Instrumentation Development (NHHID) in Anna University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for BiotechnologyAnna UniversityChennaiIndia

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