NorthenLab: Exometabolomics linking genomes with environments to understand how webs of microbes sustain biomes

Exploring biofilm consortia using BIMA

Northen Lab researchers Suzanne Kosina, Markus de Raad, Benjamin Bowen, and Trent Northen are authors on the paper “Biofilm Interaction Mapping and Analysis (BIMA) of Interspecific Interactions in Pseudomonas Co-culture Biofilms.” 

Image: Overview of BIMA

BIMA is an integrated platform that utilizes automated colony printing, barcoded mutant library profiling, and metabolomics to investigate biofilm-based consortia. Overlaid colonies were printed using an automated liquid handling system to determine interactions between Pseudomonas soil isolates. These colonies were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy to observe structural changes to the communities over time, and a specific strain (RCH2) was examined for fitness using a transposon mutant library to identify genes important to interspecific interactions. Exometabolomics was then used to look at the exchange of metabolites between RCH2 and another Pseudomonas strain. 

To learn more, read the original paper