Starke, R., N. Jehmlich, T. Alfaro, A. Dohnalkova, P. Capek, S. L. Bell, and K. S. Hofmockel. 2019. Incomplete cell disruption of resistant microbes. Scientific Reports 9:5618.
Biomolecules for OMIC analysis of microbial communities are commonly extracted by bead-beating or ultra-sonication, but both showed varying yields. In addition to that, different disruption pressures are necessary to lyse bacteria and fungi. However, the disruption efficiency and yields comparing bead-beating and ultra-sonication of different biological material have not yet been demonstrated. Here, we show that ultra-sonication in a bath transfers three times more energy than bead-beating over 10 min. TEM imaging revealed intact gram-positive bacterial and fungal cells whereas the gram-negative bacterial cells were destroyed beyond recognition after 10 min of ultra-sonication. DNA extraction using 10 min of bead-beating revealed higher yields for fungi but the extraction efficiency was at least three-fold lower considering its larger genome. By our critical viewpoint, we encourage the review of the commonly used extraction techniques as we provide evidence for a potential underrepresentation of resistant microbes, particularly fungi, in ecological studies.
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