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Capturing Air–Water Interface Biofilms for Microscopy and Molecular Analysis

  • Margaret C. HenkEmail author
Protocol
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1147)

Abstract

Described here is a simple and versatile technique for capturing small samples of the thin biofilm that is located at the meniscus of almost every air–water interface (AWI), an electrostatically distinct aquatic domain/habitat. The method uses a microscope slide (and other supporting surfaces) coated in the lab with a collodion membrane, which has a strong affinity for the upper surface of the AWI biofilm. The structural integrity of the biofilm is maintained during the capture process, and components of the biofilm are effectively separated from the subtending liquid. The captured thin biofilm can be analyzed in many ways including almost any form of light, electron, and atomic force optics; and spatially significant molecular analyses may be performed on the captured biofilm or its components.

Key words

Air–water interface Biofilm Microscopy Microbiology Ecomicrobiology 

Notes

Acknowledgement

This work was supported by the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. Thanks to many students, starting with Bret Territo.

References

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    Henk MC (2004) Method for collecting air-water interface microbes suitable for subsequent microscopy and molecular analysis in both research and teaching laboratories. Appl Environ Microbiol 70:2486–2493PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Henk MC (2002) Microscopy of natural and experimental biofilms in the undergraduate laboratory: a simple collection kit with multiple applications. In: 2002 Proceedings of the association for biology laboratory education. http://www.ableweb.org/volumes/vol-24/5-henk.pdf
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    Bozzola JJ, Russell LD (1992) Electron microscopy principles and techniques for biologists, 2nd edn. Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, MAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesLousiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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