Journal of microbiological methods

Assessment of fluorescent-labeled bacteria for evaluation of in vivo uptake of bacteria (Vibrio spp.) by crustacean larvae.

PMID 12401232


Available methods to study crustacean digestive tract colonization by bacteria are laborious, time-consuming, and do not permit in vivo assays and observation. This paper reports on a rapid and consistent technique to apply a fluorescent label to bacteria, which can then be presented to filter-feeding crustacea such as Artemia and penaeid larvae for later in situ bacterial distribution observation. Three luminescent Vibrio spp. were stained and observed inside Artemia nauplii, shrimp zoea and mysis stages, Vibrio harveyi type strain ATCC 14126, M(1) (pathogenic) and Ea (non-pathogenic). Factors such as dye (DTAF) concentration, exposure time/temperature and sonication time were evaluated. Viability of the dye and stained bacteria were tested at 4, -20 and -70 degrees C storage temperatures for up to 81 days. Results show that 4 and -20 degrees C storage temperatures are not recommended. At -70 degrees C, both bacteria and dye are optimally preserved. Monodispersed fluorescent-labeled bacterial cells can be observed inside the digestive tract of crustacean larvae at a density of inoculation as high as 5.2 x 10(6) CFU ml(-1). After 2 to 4 h, some leaching occurs, increasing difficulty in observation, although after 24 h, it is still possible to observe monodispersed FLB inside the digestive tract of crustacean larvae. Autofluorescence may complicate observation when filter-feeding crustacean larvae are co-fed with microalgae.

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5-([4,6-Dichlorotriazin-2-yl]amino)fluorescein hydrochloride, ≥90% (HPLC)
C23H12Cl2N4O5 · HCl