Investigating Bacterial-Animal Symbioses with Light Sheet Microscopy

Michael J. Taormina, Matthew Jemielita, W. Zac Stephens, Adam R. Burns, Joshua V. Troll, Raghuveer Parthasarathy, Karen Guillemin
2012 The Biological Bulletin  
Microbial colonization of the digestive tract is a crucial event in vertebrate development, required for maturation of host immunity and establishment of normal digestive physiology. Advances in genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic technologies are providing a more detailed picture of the constituents of the intestinal habitat, but these approaches lack the spatial and temporal resolution needed to characterize the assembly and dynamics of microbial communities in this complex environment. We
more » ... ort the use of light sheet microscopy to provide high resolution imaging of bacterial colonization of the zebrafish intestine. The methodology allows us to characterize bacterial population dynamics across the entire organ and the behaviors of individual bacterial and host cells throughout the colonization process. The large four-dimensional datasets generated by these imaging approaches require new strategies for image analysis. When integrated with other "omics" datasets, information about the spatial and temporal dynamics of microbial cells within the vertebrate intestine will provide new mechanistic insights into how microbial communities assemble and function within hosts.
doi:10.1086/bblv223n1p7 pmid:22983029 pmcid:PMC3952068 fatcat:zxtn5lrgfffkbnnywfwxkmq46q