The disadvantage was that the doubling time in the synthetic medium was higher than 50 h, making the experiments extremely time consuming (Table 1 in Blaby et al., 2010). In comparison, our approach described above has the disadvantage that readings of ODs require personal intervention, but the advantages that the growth rate is more than eightfold higher and that the investment is much lower, because a Bioscreen C apparatus is not needed. In addition to growth in a liquid culture, Blaby et al. (2010) also introduced growth on solid media in the microtiter plate Lumacaftor clinical trial format (compare Fig. 4 in Blaby et al., 2010). While this produces only qualitative
instead of quantitative data, we find it a very attractive idea to limit the evaporation problem. However, our initial attempts to make use of this approach revealed that at least in our hands it is not easy to reproduce
and will need careful optimization (data not shown). Nevertheless, this study and the study by Blaby et al. (2010) exemplify that H. volcanii can be cultured in a highly parallel manner and that bona fide phenotyping approaches of mutant collections are feasible. Optimization of the conditions for culturing H. volcanii in microtiter plates now enables to generate highly reproducible growth curves. The doubling time in a synthetic medium with glucose is about 6 h. This is in the same range as the doubling time of about 4 h, which corresponds to the fastest possible growth of H. volcanii in this medium in well-aerated cultures in Erlenmeyer selleck chemicals llc flasks. Several experimental approaches could exemplify different applications of culturing H. volcanii in microtiter plates, including analysis of the growth characteristics and stress response of the wild type under many different conditions
(C-sources, vitamin-dependence, osmotolerance, oxidative stress response), supplementation of auxotrophic mutants and the phenotypic comparison of many mutants with the wild type. A variety of unexpected results were obtained, for example that H. volcanii Protirelin can grow at salt concentrations as low as 0.7 M NaCl and that an amino acid auxotrophic mutant could not be fully supplemented. Parallel growth of many cultures in microtiter plates is not possible for most other archaeal species, for example thermophiles or methanogens. Therefore, this feature adds to the many advantages of H. volcanii and makes it an ideal archaeal model species. This work was funded by the German Research Council through grant DFG So264/14. We thank Thorsten Allers (University of Nottingham, UK) for the strains H26, H53 and H66. We thank anonymous reviewers for valuable comments. Fig. S1. Growth in synthetic medium with glucose as carbon and energy source. Fig. S2. Growth in synthetic medium with casamino acids as carbon and energy source.