Use of attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to identify microbial metabolic products on carbonate mineral surfaces.
ABSTRACT: This paper demonstrates the use of attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy to detect microbial metabolic products on carbonate mineral surfaces. By creating an ATR-FTIR spectral database for specific organic acids using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy we were able to distinguish metabolic acids on calcite surfaces following Escherichia coli growth. The production of these acids by E. coli was verified using high-performance liquid chromatography with refractive index detection. The development of this technique has allowed us to identify microbial metabolic products on carbonate surfaces in nutrient-limited cave environments.
Project description:Soil and rock surfaces support microbial communities involved in mineral weathering processes. Using selective isolation, fungi were obtained from limestone surfaces of Mayan monuments in the semi-arid climate at Yucatan, Mexico. A total of 101 isolates representing 53 different taxa were studied. Common fungi such as Fusarium, Pestalotiopsis, Trichoderma, and Penicillium were associated with surfaces and were, probably derived from airborne spores. In contrast, unusual fungi such as Rosellinia, Annulohypoxylon, and Xylaria were predominantly identified from mycelium particles of biofilm biomass. Simulating oligotrophic conditions, agar amended with CaCO3 was inoculated with fungi to test for carbonate activity. A substantial proportion of fungi, in particular those isolated from mycelium (59%), were capable of solubilizing calcium by means of organic acid release, notably oxalic acid as evidenced by ion chromatography. Contrary to our hypothesis, nutrient level was not a variable influencing the CaCO3 solubilization ability among isolates. Particularly active fungi (Annulohypoxylon stygium, Penicillium oxalicum, and Rosellinia sp.) were selected as models for bioweathering experiments with limestone-containing mesocosms to identify if other mineral phases, in addition to oxalates, were linked to bioweathering processes. Fungal biofilms were seen heavily covering the stone surface, while a biomineralized front was also observed at the stone-biofilm interface, where network of hyphae and mycogenic crystals was observed. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) identified calcite as the main phase, along with whewellite and wedellite. In addition, lower levels of citrate were detected by Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). Overall, our results suggest that a diverse fungal community is associated with limestone surfaces insemi-arid climates. A subset of this community is geochemically active, excreting organic acids under quasi-oligotrophic conditions, suggesting that the high metabolic cost of exuding organic acids beneficial under nutrient limitation. Oxalic acid release may deteriorate or stabilize limestone surfaces, depending on microclimatic dynamics.
Project description:Invasive fungal infections by opportunistic yeasts have increased concomitantly with the growth of an immunocompromised patient population. Misidentification of yeasts can lead to inappropriate antifungal treatment and complications. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy is a promising method for rapid and accurate identification of microorganisms. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy is a standalone, inexpensive, reagent-free technique that provides results within minutes after initial culture. In this study, a comprehensive spectral reference database of 65 clinically relevant yeast species was constructed and tested prospectively on spectra recorded (from colonies taken from culture plates) for 318 routine yeasts isolated from various body fluids and specimens received from 38 microbiology laboratories over a 4-month period in our clinical laboratory. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy attained comparable identification performance with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). In a preliminary validation of the ATR-FTIR method, correct identification rates of 100% and 95.6% at the genus and species levels, respectively, were achieved, with 3.5% unidentified and 0.9% misidentified. By expanding the number of spectra in the spectral reference database for species for which isolates could not be identified or had been misidentified, we were able to improve identification at the species level to 99.7%. Thus, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy provides a new standalone method that can rival MALDI-TOF MS for the accurate identification of a broad range of medically important yeasts. The simplicity of the ATR-FTIR spectroscopy workflow favors its use in clinical laboratories for timely and low-cost identification of life-threatening yeast strains for appropriate treatment.
Project description:Superhydrophobic surfaces are highly promising for self-cleaning, anti-fouling and anti-corrosion applications. However, accurate assessment of the lifetime and sustainability of super-hydrophobic materials is hindered by the lack of large area characterization of superhydrophobic breakdown. In this work, attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) is explored for a dynamic study of wetting transitions on immersed superhydrophobic arrays of silicon nanopillars. Spontaneous breakdown of the superhydrophobic state is triggered by in-situ modulation of the liquid surface tension. The high surface sensitivity of ATR-FTIR allows for accurate detection of local liquid infiltration. Experimentally determined wetting transition criteria show significant deviations from predictions by classical wetting models. Breakdown kinetics is found to slow down dramatically when the liquid surface tension approaches the transition criterion, which clearly underlines the importance of more accurate wetting analysis on large-area surfaces. Precise actuation of the superhydrophobic breakdown process is demonstrated for the first time through careful modulation of the liquid surface tension around the transition criterion. The developed ATR-FTIR method can be a promising technique to study wetting transitions and associated dynamics on various types of superhydrophobic surfaces.
Project description:Although many techniques are available to assess enamel erosion in vitro, a simple, non-destructive method with sufficient sensitivity for quantifying dental erosion is required. This study characterized the bovine dental enamel erosion induced by various acidic beverages in vitro using attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. Deionized water (control) and 10 acidic beverages were selected to study erosion, and the pH and neutralizable acidity were measured. Bovine anterior teeth (110) were polished with up to 1 200-grit silicon carbide paper to produce flat enamel surfaces, which were then immersed in 20 mL of the beverages for 30 min at 37 °C. The degree of erosion was evaluated using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and Vickers' microhardness measurements. The spectra obtained were interpreted in two ways that focused on the ν1, ν3 phosphate contour: the ratio of the height amplitude of ν3 PO4 to that of ν1 PO4 (Method 1) and the shift of the ν3 PO4 peak to a higher wavenumber (Method 2). The percentage changes in microhardness after the erosion treatments were primarily affected by the pH of the immersion media. Regression analyses revealed highly significant correlations between the surface hardness change and the degree of erosion, as detected by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy (P<0.001). Method 1 was the most sensitive to these changes, followed by surface hardness change measurements and Method 2. This study suggests that ATR-FTIR spectroscopy is potentially advantageous over the microhardness test as a simple, non-destructive, sensitive technique for the quantification of enamel erosion.
Project description:Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is a vibrational technique that gives information on the chemical composition of a sample, providing a "molecular fingerprint" of it. It is a powerful approach to study intact cells. The aim of the present study was to analyse and quantify apoptotic cells by using a FTIR approach based on attenuated total reflection (ATR). We incubated human HL60 leukaemic cells with camptothecin, a cytotoxic drug, and monitored apoptosis induction over a period of time. Several ATR-FTIR spectral changes occurred during the apoptotic process. In particular, we observed that the apoptotic index was inversely correlated with the spectral area in the region 1200-900 cm(-1), assigned to the absorption of nucleic acids. We therefore propose that ATR-FTIR spectral features may be used as a diagnostic marker of apoptotic cells.
Project description:Despite the recent advances on fine taxonomic discrimination in microorganisms, namely using molecular biology tools, some groups remain particularly problematic. Fine taxonomy of green algae, a widely distributed group in freshwater ecosystems, remains a challenge, especially for coccoid forms. In this paper, we propose the use of the Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy as part of a polyphasic approach to identify and classify coccoid green microalgae (mainly order Sphaeropleales), using triplicated axenic cultures. The attenuated total reflectance (ATR) technique was tested to reproducibility of IR spectra of the biological material, a primary requirement to achieve good discrimination of microalgal strains. Spectral window selection was also tested, in conjunction with the first derivative treatment of spectra, to determine which regions of the spectrum provided better separation and clustering of strains. The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) and hierarchical clusters (HCA), demonstrated a correct discrimination and classification of closely related strains of chlorophycean coccoid microalgae, with respect to currently accepted classifications. FTIR-ATR was highly reproducible, and provided an excellent discrimination at the strain level. The best separation was achieved by analyzing the spectral windows of 1500-1200 cm(-1) and 900-675 cm(-1), which differs from those used in previously studies for the discrimination of broad algal groups, and excluding spectral regions related to storage compounds, which were found to give poor discrimination. Furthermore, hierarchical cluster analyses have positioned the strains tested into clades correctly, reproducing their taxonomic orders and families. This study demonstrates that FTIR-ATR has great potential to complement classical approaches for fine taxonomy of coccoid green microalgae, though a careful spectrum region selection is needed.
Project description:The formation of metal soaps (metal complexes of saturated fatty acids) is a serious problem affecting the appearance and structural integrity of many oil paintings. Tailored model systems for aged oil paint and time-dependent attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy were used to study the diffusion of palmitic acid and subsequent metal soap crystallization. The simultaneous presence of free saturated fatty acids and polymer-bound metal carboxylates leads to rapid metal soap crystallization, following a complex mechanism that involves both acid and metal diffusion. Solvent flow, water, and pigments all enhance metal soap crystallization in the model systems. These results contribute to the development of paint cleaning strategies, a better understanding of oil paint degradation, and highlight the potential of time-dependent ATR-FTIR spectroscopy for studying dynamic processes in polymer films.
Project description:Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) is an intermediate step during the precipitation of calcium carbonate, and is assumed to play a key role in biomineralization processes. Here, we have developed a model where ion association thermodynamics in homogeneous phases determine the liquid-liquid miscibility gap of the aqueous calcium carbonate system, verified experimentally using potentiometric titrations, and kinetic studies based on stopped-flow ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. The proposed mechanism explains the variable solubilities of solid amorphous calcium carbonates, reconciling previously inconsistent literature values. Accounting for liquid-liquid amorphous polymorphism, the model also provides clues to the mechanism of polymorph selection. It is general and should be tested for systems other than calcium carbonate to provide a new perspective on the physical chemistry of LLPS mechanisms based on stable prenucleation clusters rather than un-/metastable fluctuations in biomineralization, and beyond.
Project description:In situ chemical measurements of solution/surface reactions during metal-organic framework (MOF) thin film growth can provide valuable information about the mechanistic and kinetic aspects of key reaction steps, and allow control over crystal quality and material properties. Here, we report a new approach to study the growth of MOF thin films in a flow cell using attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). Real-time spectra recorded during continuous flow synthesis were used to investigate the mechanism and kinetics that govern the formation of (Zn, Cu) hydroxy double salts (HDSs) from ZnO thin films and the subsequent conversion of HDS to HKUST-1. We found that both reactions follow pseudo-first order kinetics. Real-time measurements also revealed that the limited mass transport of reactants may lead to partial conversion of ZnO to HDS and therefore leaves an interfacial ZnO layer beneath the HDS film providing strong adhesion of the HKUST-1 coating to the substrate. This in situ flow-cell ATR-FTIR method is generalizable for studying the dynamic processes of MOF thin film growth, and could be used for other solid/liquid reaction systems involving thin films.
Project description:Attenuated total reflectance (ATR) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy has been used to probe the binding of bacteria to hematite (?-Fe2O3) and goethite (?-FeOOH). In situ ATR-FTIR experiments with bacteria (Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli), mixed amino acids, polypeptide extracts, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and a suite of model compounds were conducted. These compounds represent carboxyl, catecholate, amide, and phosphate groups present in siderophores, amino acids, polysaccharides, phospholipids, and DNA. Due in part to the ubiquitous presence of carboxyl groups in biomolecules, numerous IR peaks corresponding to outer-sphere or unbound (1400 cm(-1)) and inner-sphere (1310-1320 cm(-1)) coordinated carboxyl groups are noted following reaction of bacteria and biomolecules with ?-Fe2O3 and ?-FeOOH. However, the data also reveal that the presence of low-level amounts (i.e., 0.45-0.79%) of biomolecular phosphorous groups result in strong IR bands at ?1043 cm(-1), corresponding to inner-sphere Fe-O-P bonds, underscoring the importance of bacteria associated P-containing groups in biomolecule and cell adhesion. Spectral comparisons also reveal slightly greater P-O-Fe contributions for bacteria (Pseudomonad, E. coli) deposited on ?-FeOOH, as compared to ?-Fe2O3. This data demonstrates that slight differences in bacterial adhesion to Fe oxides can be attributed to bacterial species and Fe-oxide minerals. However, more importantly, the strong binding affinity of phosphate in all bacteria samples to both Fe-oxides results in the formation of inner-sphere Fe-O-P bonds, signifying the critical role of biomolecular P in the initiation of bacterial adhesion.