SUMMARY: A dual-laser flow cytometer was used to analyse different species of bacteria for the molar percentage of guanine-plus-cytosine (% G + C) without the need for DNA extraction or purification. Ethanol-fixed bacterial cells were stained with a combination of DNA-specific fluorochromes, Hoechst 33258 and chromomycin A3, which bind to AT- and GC-rich regions of DNA, respectively. A linear relationship ( = 0.99) was demonstrated between the log of the ratio of chromomycin A3 to Hoechst 33258 fluorescence and the log of the % G + C as determined by thermal denaturation ( ) or buoyant density centrifugation (Bd) methods. Linearity was maintained for all bacterial species tested over the range of 28-67% G + C. A standard curve was constructed using five strains whose % G + C had been determined by other methods. From the equation describing this line, the % G + C values of nine other strains with known DNA base composition, together with the five strains used to construct the curve, were calculated using the chromomycin A3 to Hoechst 33258 ratio and were in agreement with values obtained by , Bd or HPLC. The reproducibility of flow cytometric analysis (mean error 0.7% G + C) compared well with the reproducibility of other methods. Mixtures containing two species were also analysed. Two cell populations could be discerned in mixtures containing two species which differed in base composition by as little as 4% G + C. Dual-laser flow cytometric analysis of stained bacteria is a rapid, simple and accurate method for determining the % G + C of bacterial DNA and can be used to distinguish populations of bacteria with differing % G + C content.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error