PloS one. 2012-01-01; 7.5: e32219.

Identifying low pH active and lactate-utilizing taxa within oral microbiome communities from healthy children using stable isotope probing techniques

McLean JS, Fansler SJ, Majors PD, McAteer K, Allen LZ, Shirtliff ME, Lux R, Shi W

PMID: 22403637


Many human microbial infectious diseases including dental caries are polymicrobial in nature. How these complex multi-species communities evolve from a healthy to a diseased state is not well understood. Although many health- or disease-associated oral bacteria have been characterized in vitro, their physiology within the complex oral microbiome is difficult to determine with current approaches. In addition, about half of these species remain uncultivated to date with little known besides their 16S rRNA sequence. Lacking culture-based physiological analyses, the functional roles of uncultivated species will remain enigmatic despite their apparent disease correlation. To start addressing these knowledge gaps, we applied a combination of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) with RNA and DNA based Stable Isotope Probing (SIP) to oral plaque communities from healthy children for in vitro temporal monitoring of metabolites and identification of metabolically active and inactive bacterial species.