Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been used to identify bacteria based upon protein signatures. This research shows that while some different proteins are produced by vegetative bacteria when they are cultured in different growth media, positive identification with MALDI-TOF MS is still possible with the protocol established at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (K. H. Jarman, S. T. Cebula, A. J. Saenz, C. E. Petersen, N. B. Valentine, M. T. Kingsley, and K. L. Wahl, Anal. Chem. 72:1217-1223, 2000). A core set of small proteins remain constant under at least four different culture media conditions and blood agar plates, including minimal medium M9, rich media, tryptic soy broth (TSB) or Luria-Bertani (LB) broth, and blood agar plates, such that analysis of the intact cells by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry allows for consistent identification.
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