Coomassie Blue G250 for Visualization of Active Bacteria from Lake Environment and Culture


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Polish Journal of Microbiology

Polish Society of Microbiologists

Subject: Microbiology


ISSN: 1733-1331
eISSN: 2544-4646





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VOLUME 66 , ISSUE 3 (September 2017) > List of articles

Coomassie Blue G250 for Visualization of Active Bacteria from Lake Environment and Culture

Bartosz Kiersztyn * / Waldemar Siuda / Ryszard Chróst

Keywords : active bacteria, aquatic bacteria, aquatic environment, bacterial culture, Coomassie Blue G250, fluorescence

Citation Information : Polish Journal of Microbiology. Volume 66, Issue 3, Pages 365-373, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Received Date : 24-January-2017 / Accepted: 12-April-2017 / Published Online: 27-September-2017



Bacteria play a fundamental role in the cycling of nutrients in aquatic environments. A precise distinction between active and inactive bacteria is crucial for the description of this process. We have evaluated the usefulness of Coomassie Blue G250 for fluorescent staining of protein containing potentially highly active bacteria. We found that the G250 solution has excitation and emission properties appropriate for direct epifluorescence microscopy observations. It enables fast and effective fluorescent visualization of living, protein-rich bacteria, both in freshwater environment and culture. Our results revealed that the number of G250-stained bacteria from eutrophic lake was positively correlated with other standard bacterial activity markers, like number of bacteria containing 16S rRNA, bacterial secondary productionor maximal potential leucine-aminopeptidase activity. In case of the E. coli culture, the percentage of bacteria visualized with G250 was similar to that of bacteria which accumulated tetracycline. Compared to other common methods utilizing fluorogenic substances forbacteria staining, the approach we evaluated is inexpensive and less hazardous (for example mutagenic) to the environment and researchers. It can be regarded as an additional or alternative method for protein rich, active bacteria staining.

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