Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Single Cell Cryo-soft X-ray Tomography Shows that Each Chlamydia Trachomatis Inclusion is a Unique Community of Bacteria

Version 1 : Received: 14 July 2021 / Approved: 16 July 2021 / Online: 16 July 2021 (08:57:06 CEST)

How to cite: Phillips, P.; Parkhurst, J.M.; Kounatidis, I.; Okolo, C.; Fish, T.M.; Naismith, J.H.; Walsh, M.A.; Harkiolaki, M.; Dumoux, M. Single Cell Cryo-soft X-ray Tomography Shows that Each Chlamydia Trachomatis Inclusion is a Unique Community of Bacteria. Preprints 2021, 2021070364 Phillips, P.; Parkhurst, J.M.; Kounatidis, I.; Okolo, C.; Fish, T.M.; Naismith, J.H.; Walsh, M.A.; Harkiolaki, M.; Dumoux, M. Single Cell Cryo-soft X-ray Tomography Shows that Each Chlamydia Trachomatis Inclusion is a Unique Community of Bacteria. Preprints 2021, 2021070364

Abstract

The impact of the cell community on its individual components in the prokaryotic realm is often overlooked. However, in the case of intracellular pathogens, where each infected cell can be considered as a single community, understanding how a population adapts to its environment to evolve and successfully propagate is key. Chlamydia infections are characterised by a silent propagation of the bacteria within individual hosts and the wider population. Chlamydia are strict intracellular pathogens residing within a specialised membrane-bound compartment called the inclusion. The life cycle of Chlamydia involves altering between the invasive elementary bodies (EBs) and replicative reticulate bodies (RBs). We have used cryo-soft X-ray tomography to observe individual inclusions, combining excellent resolution (40 nm) and large volume imaging (up to 16 µm). Combined with a semi-automated segmentation pipeline, we were able to consider each inclusion as an individual bacterial niche. Within the inclusion, we identified and classified different forms of the bacteria and confirmed the recent finding that RBs have a variety of volumes (small, large and abnormal). Moreover, we demonstrate that the proportions of these different RB forms depend on the bacterial concentration in the cell demonstrating the impact of the group on its individual component. We conclude that each inclusion operates as an autonomous community which regulates the characteristics of individual bacteria within the inclusion

Subject Areas

Chlamydia; bacteria community; cryo-soft X-ray tomography; segmentation

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