Studying Bacterial Metabolic States Using Raman Spectroscopy

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Natural metabolic variability expected during characteristic growth phases in batch cultures of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis were studied by Raman spectroscopy. Spectral changes induced by metabolic changes found in the growth phases (i.e., lag, exponential, stationary, and decay) were identified. Maximum intensity of bands assigned to DNA and RNA bases are seen at the beginning of the exponential phase, when cells are metabolically active, and minimum intensities are seen when cells are decaying. High agreement in spectral variation due to growth phases was seen for all the trials that were performed, four growth cycles for E. coli and two for S. epidermidis. Batch cultures were monitored by standard plate counts to identify all growth phases, including decay. Spectral data were analyzed by principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis to identify similarities and differences and to estimate a classification performance based on growth phases. For the species evaluated, spectra during decay are grouped closer to each other and separated from lag, exponential, and stationary cells. These results suggest that Raman spectroscopy can be used to study metabolic states in bacteria and in particular cell viability.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 2: ChemImage Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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