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TitleImprovements on colony morphology identification towards bacterial profiling
Author(s)Sousa, A. M.
Machado, Idalina
Nicolau, Ana
Pereira, Maria Olívia
KeywordsColony morphology
Bacterial profiling
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Small colony variants
Issue date2013
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Abstract(s)Colony morphology may be an indicator of phenotypic variation, this being an important adaptive process adopted by bacteria to overcome environmental stressors. Furthermore, alterations in colony traits may reflect increased virulence and antimicrobial resistance. Despite the potential relevance of using colony morphological traits, the influence of experimental conditions on colony morphogenesis has been scarcely studied in detail. This study aims to clear and systematically at demonstrating the impact of some variables, such as colony growth time, plate colony density, culture medium, planktonic or biofilm mode of growth and strains genetic background, on bacterial colony morphology features using two P. aeruginosa strains. Results, based on 5-replicate experiments, demonstrated that all variables influenced colony morphogenesis and 18 different morphotypes were identified, showing different sizes, forms, colours, textures and margins. Colony growth time and composition of the medium were the variables that caused the highest impact on colony differentiation both derived from planktonic and biofilm cultures. Colony morphology characterization before 45 h of incubation was considered inadequate and TSA, a non-selective medium, provided more colony diversity in contrast to P. aeruginosa selective media. In conclusion, data obtained emphasized the need to perform comparisons between colony morphologies in equivalent experimental conditions to avoid misinterpretation of microbial diagnostics and biomedical studies. Since colony morphotyping showed to be a reliable method to evaluate phenotypic switching and also to infer about bacterial diversity in biofilms, these unambiguous comparisons between morphotypes may offer a quite valuable input to clinical diagnosis, aiding the decision-making towards the selection of the most suitable antibiotic and supportive treatments.
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEB - Publicações em Revistas/Séries Internacionais / Publications in International Journals/Series

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