New method for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus spore separation using a microfluidic device based on manual temporary flow diversion.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Mycorrhiza, 2020, 30, (6), pp. 789-796
Issue Date:
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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are beneficial components often included in biofertilizers. Studies of the biology and utilization of these fungi are key to their successful use in the biofertilizer industry. The acquisition of isolated spores is a required step in these studies; however, spore quality control and spore separation are bottlenecks. Filtered and centrifuged spores have to be hand-picked under a microscope. The conventional procedure is skill-demanding, labor-intensive, and time-consuming. Here, we developed a microfluidic device to aid manual separation of spores from a filtered and centrifuged suspension. The device is a single spore streamer equipped with a manual temporary flow diversion (MTFD) mechanism to select single spores. Users can press a switch to generate MTFD when the spore arrives at the selection site. The targeted spore flows in a stream to the collection chamber via temporary cross flow. Using the device, spore purity, the percentage of spore numbers against the total number of particles counted in the collecting chamber reached 96.62% (median, n = 10) which is greater than the spore purity obtained from the conventional method (88.89% (median, n = 10)).
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