Development of Magnetic Cell Isolation from Microbial Communities in Natural Samples

Davis, Quintin
The isolation of microorganisms from natural samples has been historically challenged due to slow-growth microcolony formation strategies, obligate syntrophies and other difficulties. Even sophisticated culture methods often exert unintended selective pressures on colony composition, as well as being time consumptive. Techniques for the isolation of bacteria from diverse microbial communities in natural samples via magnetic cell separation were investigated and developed. These techniques employ paramagnetic microparticles coated with antibodies for specific cell capture. These particles exhibit magnetism when subjected to a magnetic field but retain no residual magnetism when the field is removed, making them ideal for the task. The project focuses on the specific capture of paramagnetic microparticles with the intention of applying these techniques to the detection of novel pathogenic potential in agricultural samples under varying stewardship practices.
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