Multilocus enzyme analysis in aerobic and anaerobic bacteria using gel electrophoresis-nitrocellulose blotting

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Apr 15;185(2):169-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2000.tb09057.x.


An optimized multilocus enzyme electrophoresis method, which involves polyacrylamide-agarose gel electrophoresis followed by electrophoretic transfers on nitrocellulose sheets, was developed for the analysis of enzyme polymorphism in several aerobic and anaerobic bacterial species including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, S. agalactiae, Klebsiella pneumoniae and K. oxytoca, Clostridium bifermentans and C. sordellii, and Prevotella bivia. Serial electrophoretic transfers (during 5-15 min each) from a single polyacrylamide gel could be achieved for most enzymes studied, and allowed an increased definition of enzyme bands on nitrocellulose as compared to migration gels. Four enzymes, which could not be blotted in such conditions, could still be stained in gels after blotting. Thus, the method allowed the combined analysis of several enzymes after a single gel electrophoresis separation. The analysis of enzyme polymorphism in the various species studied raised the interest of polymorphic loci such as esterase or glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase for epidemiologic studies. The method characterized a genetic diversity of enzyme loci of S. pneumoniae higher than previously reported, and is thus convenient for the analysis of genetic relationships between related isolates. Since the present method reduces the tediousness of multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and requires experimental conditions that are not specific for the bacterial population studied, it may be proposed for rapid population genetics analysis of a wide variety of bacteria.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria, Aerobic / enzymology
  • Bacteria, Aerobic / genetics*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / enzymology
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / genetics*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Collodion
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel / methods*
  • Enzymes / analysis*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting


  • Enzymes
  • Collodion