The Microbial Culturing & Engineering Core provides physicians and investigators services for culturing and genetic engineering of bacteria in concordance with other mechanistic studies related to the microbiome. The facility offers services such as the characterization and verification of bacterial isolates, culture-based biochemical assays involving isolates or defined consortia to screen for specific microbial functions through access to an expanding library of human derived bacterial isolates. The facility can help in anaerobic processing of complex samples, such as stool or mucus, and the generation of gene knock-out or knock-in mutants of bacterial isolates.
The Microbial Culturing and Engineering facility provides investigators with a centralized resource for studies that involve the isolation, identification, and culturing of host-associated bacteria and/or the genetic engineering of bacteria. The facility is equipped with five Coy anaerobic chambers, each with a 500 culture plate capacity. The facility has additional biosafety cabinets and incubators for work with aerobic bacteria. This system allows for the culturing and maintenance of diverse host-associated bacteria with chambers allocated for specialized gas mixtures, spore-forming bacteria, as well as for initial isolations. The facility maintains a collection of multi-species-derived bacteria either acquired from other culture collections or isolated from different host sites as needed by investigators. The services provided by the culturing and engineering facility enables investigators to quantify specific groups of bacteria through culture-based methods, isolate target bacteria based on taxonomy and or metabolic functions, and genetically engineer bacteria to knock-out or knock-in genes to perform mechanistic host-microbe studies.