Pioneering particle-based strategy for isolating viable bacteria from multipart soil samples compatible with Raman spectroscopy
The study of edaphic bacteria is of great interest, particularly for evaluating soil remediation and recultivation methods. Therefore, a fast and simple strategy to isolate various bacteria from complex soil samples using poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI)-modified polyethylene particles is introduced. The research focuses on the binding behavior under different conditions, such as the composition, pH value, and ionic strength, of the binding buffer, and is supported by the characterization of the surface properties of particles and bacteria. The results demonstrate that electrostatic forces and hydrophobicity are responsible for the adhesion of target bacteria to the particles. Distinct advantages of the particle-based isolation strategy include simple handling, enrichment efficiency, and the preservation of viable bacteria. The presented isolation method allows a subsequent identification of the bacteria using Raman microspectroscopy in combination with chemometrical methods. This is demonstrated with a dataset of five different bacteria (Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Streptomyces tendae, and Streptomyces acidiscabies) which were isolated from spiked soil samples. In total 92% of the Raman spectra could be identified correctly.