Scientists have shown how bacteria form colonies in human language using fluorescence imaging. The work of researchers from the Harvard School of Dentistry is published in the journal Cell Reports.
Human oral microbiome is a complex ecosystem. The spatial organization of microbial communities in the mouth depends on many factors, including temperature, humidity, blood flow in the salivary glands, pH, oxygen level and frequency of disorders, such as problems with oral hygiene.
In addition, microbial colonies affect their neighbors (the same colonies), acting as sources and sinks of metabolites, nutrients and inhibitory molecules. Thus, microbes can physically exclude each other from their desired habitats, but they can also attach other microbes to themselves.
In a new study, scientists made a map of the distribution of microbes in human language using their own method of combined labeling and spectral imaging. It involves labeling a specific type of microbe with several fluorophores – this allows you to increase the number of species of myrrh that can be simultaneously identified.
“The novelty of our study is that no one before could look at the biofilm in the tongue in such a way as to distinguish between different bacteria and see how they are located. Before that, scientists used DNA sequencing approaches, but in order to get the sequence, you must first destroy the sample. This process destroys the beautiful spatial structure of bacterial colonies. We can do the same without destroying it”.
Gary Borisi, lead author of the study
In the course of the study, scientists found that bacterial cells attach to the epithelium of the surface of the tongue individually or in small clusters. During colony growth, bacteria multiply faster in a microenvironment that supports their physiological needs. This differential growth leads to the formation of mosaic mosaics in larger and more mature structures.