Using Emulsions to Select by Yield

Background

Evolution in suspension culture proceeds by selecting for those strains that grow and use nutrients up most rapidly. In order to select for cells that grow more efficiently (defined as a higher yield of cells generated per unit volume of media) it is necessary to compartmentalize individual cells from a starter culture, allow for growth to stationary phase, and then rupture the individual compartments to create a new pool of cells for another round of growth in compartments. Since slow-growing but efficient cells will have a higher yield, they will be enriched relative to faster growing cells after every round.

To achieve compartmentalization, we can use oil in water emulsions. Mixing a culture in aqueous media with an oil/surfactant mix under the right conditions produces droplets of media in which cells can grow. These emulsion droplets can then be broken chemically. It is possible using microfluidics to fill every emulsion droplet with a cell; however, this is an expensive set up and is too low-throughput for many experiments. Below is methodology for growing cells in relatively cheap and easy to produce water-in-oil emulsions.

Before venturing in to this experiment, consider how many rounds of growth would be required to achieve your anticipated results. Breaking of existing droplets and re-seeding needs to be down every day (although can probably be extended to 48 hours) and the outline below still only allows for growth of hundreds of thousands of cells per day.

This protocol requires extensive optimization. The size of the emulsions - such that they are large enough to allow for growth of cells but small enough to compartmentalize as many cells as possible - needs to be determined. Similarly, the number of cells seeding the emulsions needs to be optimized, such that seeding occurs as frequently as possible, but with only single cells per emulsion droplet. These conditions need to be determined by the user and can be done by following the steps for Optimization at the bottom of this page. The following protocol used E.coli, the size of the emulsion droplets created range from 30um - 110um in diameter with a mean of 80um, and approx 7.5% of filled emulsion droplets were seeded with more then one cell.

Materials

Chemicals:

  • HFE (3M cat no. XXXXX)
  • Picosurf surfactant, 5% in HFE (Dolomite, cat no. XXXX)
  • 2,3-perfluorooctanol (Y, cat no. XXXX)
  • Growth media
  • Strains of interest

Equipment:

  • Vortex genie
  • Shaking attachment for vortex genie (cat no. XXXX)

You will need to make the attachment 'culture tube compatible'. This means using a razor blade to cut holes large enough to securely hold a glass culture tube in it. The attachment has a tendency to squirm out of its fitting once the vortex is on with glass tubes inserted, and so needs to be held in place with tape of some sort. See the picture below of a finished set up.

Protocol, for E.coli.

Do not alter the conditions used to make the emulsions, unless you intentionally plan to change them (see Optimization section below). Emulsion size is sensitive to the type (size, shape) of vessel, the concentration of surfactant, the total volume and the speed/duration of shaking.

Day 1:

  • Grow an overnight culture of strain of interest.

Day 2:

  • Precondition strain by making a 1:100 dilution into fresh media and growing overnight.

Day 3:

  • Determine OD of overnight culture, ensuring that measurement is taken in the linear range (<0.3).
  • From this, calculate the concentration of cells per ml of culture.
  • Serially dilute the culture to achieve a final concentration of 2x10^5 cells/ml.
    • You will need 300ul of this final, diluted culture per emulsion.
    • Perform dilutions in saline; however, the final dilution needs to be into growth media, as it will be used to make emulsions.
    • If you are not using E.coli, it is recommended that you optimize the number of cells seeding the emulsion. See the 'Optimization' section below.
  • Make up a solution of HFE containing 0.5% Picosurf.
    • You will need 700ul of HFE/Picosurf per emulsion.
  • In a glass culture tube, pipette 700ul of HFE/picosurf and then gently layer 300ul of diluted culture on top.
  • Place the glass tube in the vortex (balanced with an empty tube if necessary) and shake for 5 minutes at full power.
  • Leave the emulsion for 10 mins to separate into emulsion and oil phases.
  • Pipette away the bottom, oil phase and store in a 15ml Falcon tube. This will be recycled at a later date (see below), thus saving time and money.
  • Move the emulsion to a 1.5ml micro centrifuge tube and grow overnight under normal culture conditions.

Day 4:

  • Recycle the HFE/picosurf (saving money and time!):
    • Using a fine syringe,

-- Main.SimonDAlton - 23 Feb 2017

Edit | Attach | Print version | History: r3 < r2 < r1 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions...

 Barrick Lab  >  ProtocolList  >  ProcedureSelectingByEfficiency

Topic revision: r1 - 23 Feb 2017 - 21:37:04 - Main.SimonDAlton
 
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platformCopyright ©2017 Barrick Lab contributing authors. Ideas, requests, problems? Send feedback