3 September 2009 Cryoprotection from bacterial teichoic acid
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Recent studies from our lab demonstrated that teichoic acid is surrounded by liquid water at -40 °C. The size and shape of the liquid water pockets has been visualized with fluorescence microscopy images of aqueous Rhodamine- B solutions. The long, thin channels surround ice crystals with a size of 5-20 microns. Subsequent studies show that B. subtilis Gram-positive bacteria are sequestered into large pockets without added teichoic acid. Here, the ice crystals are orders of manitude larger. When bacteria are mixed with teichoic acid solutions, the distribution of bacteria changes dramatically. The smaller ice crystals allow the bacteria to align in the thin channels of liquid water seen with teichoic acid only. The role of teichoic acid in the freeze tolerance was examined with live/dead fluorescence assays of bacteria mixed with teichoic acid. These quantitative assays were used to determine if teichoic acid acts in a synergetic fashion to enhance the survivability of E. coli, a gram-negative species which lacks teichoic acid. Additionally, we have obtained B. subtilis mutants lacking wall-associated teichoic acids to evaluate cryoprotection compared to the wild-type strain.
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Charles V. Rice, Charles V. Rice, William Harrison, William Harrison, Karl Kirkpatrick, Karl Kirkpatrick, Eric D. Brown, Eric D. Brown, } "Cryoprotection from bacterial teichoic acid", Proc. SPIE 7441, Instruments and Methods for Astrobiology and Planetary Missions XII, 74410M (3 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.829981; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.829981

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