Raman microscopy for phenotyping microbial microorganisms

Abstract of the doctoral research of Cristina García-Timermans:

Single cell phenotypic differences arise even in monoclonal populations. This allows them to survive, increase their fitness or organize the spatial structure of the population. However, the methods most commonly used to study microbial populations (i.e., sequencing techniques and omics) analyse all the cells of the same sample together in bulk. Although this is valuable information, bulk techniques only inform on the average behaviour of populations, masking single-cell heterogeneity.
In this thesis, we discuss the use of Raman spectroscopy as a single-cell tool to study bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity. First, we propose a standard way to acquire and report Raman spectra. Secondly, we compare the resolution of Raman spectroscopy with another single-cell tool, flow cytometry. Thirdly, we automatically define phenotypes based on their Raman spectra using dimensionality reduction and/or clustering methods. Then, we quantify single-cell phenotypic diversity using the Hill diversity framework with Raman spectra. Finally, we show how these tools can be used as screening and monitoring tools in bioproduction. Raman spectroscopy presents an opportunity to study phenotypic heterogeneity at the single-cell level and to describe, explain, predict and manage microbial communities.

Dissertation Supervisors:

 Prof. Dr. Ir. Nico Boon and Prof. Dr. ir. Ruben Props.

Event location: 
Virtual Event
Event date: 
Friday, 9 October, 2020 - 16:00
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