This laboratory works on the implementation of imaging techniques derived from molecular biology like Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH), the development of microbial cultures and the carrying out of biomineralization experiments through model strains. Experiments in anaerobic conditions (O2‚â§1 ppm) can also be conducted using the laboratory's glove box.
The laboratory has all the necessary equipment needed to conduct studies of microbial diversity on environmental samples, by using techniques involving, in particular, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Denaturing Gel Gradient Electrophoresis (DGGE) and cloning. Practical exercises are organized around these techniques for Master‚Äôs degrees at University Paris Diderot/IPGP.
A set of microscopes (polarizer optical microscopy/analyzer using epifluorescence and cathodoluminescence) enables the development of molecular biology techniques like the FISH, as well as petrological and mineralogical characterizations, including the study of fluid inclusions (microthermometry stages, camera with infrared detection adapted to opaque minerals).
The platform is equipped with a confocal laser scanning microscope allowing 3D imaging in fluorescence (UV visible) and in Raman. Though still rare, this coupling combines an Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope with a Renishaw InVia spectometer equipped with the StreamLine Plus imagery modulus. Microorganisms that are present can be simultaneously identified while associated mineral phases are being characterized.
In the framework of the PARI platform, the teams also operate a microimaging Fourier transform infrared assembly (FTIR; Thermo Scientific Nicolet iN10 MX). They are also developing the micro-dissection laser technique (Zeiss PALM MicroBeam) by adapting it to the characterization of subsurface ecosystems. These environments are either extremely sensitive to contamination or very mineralized (i.e. crusting of the cells) and thus require the development of specific protocols and the use of instruments in a sterile area. Using the FISH technique for the specific visualization of microbial cells, laser micro dissection enables the mechanical isolation of individual cells or micro colonies of interest, in order to specifically sequence their genome or put them back into culture. Thus, their nature and metabolisms can be characterized, which results in a better understanding of their role in the environment.
Translation / revision carried out by the Masters 2 ILTS team