P-52. Novel image cytometric method for detection of physiological and metabolic changes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Presenter: Leo L. Chan, Nexcelom Bioscience, Lawrence, MA
Coauthors: Alexandria Kury, Alisha Wilkinson, and Alnoor Pirani, Nexcelom Bioscience, Lawrence, MA; Charlotte Berkes, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA

The study and monitoring of physiological and metabolic changes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a key research area for the brewing, baking, and biofuels industries, which rely on these economically important yeasts to produce their products. Specifically for breweries, physiological and metabolic parameters such as viability, vitality, glycogen, neutral lipid, and trehalose content can be measured to better understand the status of S. cerevisiae during fermentation. Traditionally, these physiological and metabolic changes can be qualitatively observed using fluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry for quantitative analysis of fluorescently labeled cellular components associated with each parameter. However, both methods pose known challenges for the end-user. Specifically, conventional fluorescent microscopes lack automation and fluorescence analysis capabilities to quantitatively analyze large numbers of cells. Although flow cytometry is suitable for quantitative analysis of tens of thousands of fluorescently labeled cells, the instruments require a considerable amount of maintenance, highly trained technicians, and the system is relatively expensive to both purchase and maintain. In this work, we demonstrate the first use of Cellometer Vision for the kinetic detection and analysis of vitality, glycogen, neutral lipid, and trehalose content of S. cerevisiae. This method provides an important research tool for large and small breweries to study and monitor these physiological behaviors during production, which can improve fermentation conditions to produce consistent and higher quality products.

Leo Chan currently serves as the technology R&D manager and senior scientist at Nexcelom Bioscience LLC, Lawrence, MA. His research involves the development of instruments and applications for the Cellometer image cytometry system for detection and analysis of yeasts used in the brewing and biofuel industries. He is a member of MBAA. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000– 2008).

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