High-throughput imaging platform - Task 3.2
In collaboration with Leica Microsystems, EMBL has set up an automated confocal laser scanning system (LCMS) coupled to a computer for recognition of complex phenotypes in cultured cells. This system includes a quick scan of samples at low magnification, an analysis of the samples, followed by a phase of automatic acquisition of images of objects of interest at higher magnification.
OCEANOMICS benefits from this technology for imaging and analysis of protists using fluorescent markers. Fluorescence substantially increases the quality and quantity of biological information in comparison with automated optical microscopy techniques. Several fluorescent markers were used successfully in the Tara Oceans expedition to mark the membrane, microtubules, nuclei, cell walls, lipids, etc.
Based on this system developed at EMBL, an imaging procedure in 2 stages has been developed by the OCEANOMICS team. The first step is to identify objects of interest during a quick scan at low magnification, coupled with automated analysis. The objects are then imaged in 3 dimensions at higher magnification, better resolution, and using more markers.
Following promising tests, this methodology has been improved to increase the speed of acquisition in relation to the number of samples to be analyzed, to enable broad coverage of size fractions to be studied (1-500μm) and to improve the classification procedure of objects characterized by complex diversity.
The vast collection of generated images will be stored in the data warehouse developed by working group no.1 and be made accessible to the greatest possible number of researchers.