Visualizing Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus by using the tdTomato fluorescent protein

Somdatta Mukherjee, Kimberly M. Brothers, Robert M.Q. Shanks, Daniel E. Kadouri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a Gram-negative bacterium that belongs to the delta subgroup of proteobacteria and is characterized by a predatory life cycle. In recent years, work has highlighted the potential use of this predator to control bacteria and biofilms. Traditionally, the reduction in prey cells was used to monitor predation dynamics. In this study, we introduced pMQ414, a plasmid that expresses the tdTomato fluorescent reporter protein, into a host-independent strain and a host-dependent strain of B. bacteriovorus 109J. The new construct was used to conveniently monitor predator proliferation in real time, in different growth conditions, in the presence of lytic enzymes, and on several prey bacteria, replicating previous studies that used plaque analysis to quantify B. bacteriovorus. The new fluorescent plasmid also enabled us to visualize the predator in liquid cultures, in the context of a biofilm, and in association with human epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1653-1661
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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