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TOF-SIMS investigation of Streptomyces coelicolor, a mycelial bacterium

Journal article
Authors Seetharaman Vaidyanathan
John S. Fletcher
Nicholas P. Lockyer
John C. Vickerman
Published in Applied Surface Science
Volume 288
Issue 4
Pages 922–925
ISSN 0169-4332
Publication year 2008
Published at
Pages 922–925
Language en
Subject categories Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology


Streptomyces coelicolor is a mycelial microorganism that produces several secondary metabolites, including antibiotics. The physiology of the organism has largely been investigated in liquid cultures due to ease of monitoring different physiological parameters and more homogeneous culture conditions. However, solid cultures reflect the natural physiology of the microorganism better, given that in its natural state it grows in the soil. Imaging mass spectrometry with TOF-SIMS and C60+ primary ion beams offers a potential route to studying chemical changes at the molecular level, both intracellular and extracellular that can help in understanding the natural physiology of the microorganism. Here, we report the application of the technique for studying the lateral distribution of the chemical species detected in a population, grown in both liquid and solid cultures. The capability of the technique for studying biological systems with minimal system intervention is demonstrated.

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