In situ electron microscopy of lactomicroselenium particles in probiotic bacteria

Gabor Nagy, Gyula Pinczes, Gabor Pinter, Istvan Pocsi, Jozsef Prokisch, Gaspar Banfalvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Electron microscopy was used to test whether or not (a) in statu nascendi synthesized, and in situ measured, nanoparticle size does not differ significantly from the size of nanoparticles after their purification; and (b) the generation of selenium is detrimental to the bacterial strains that produce them. Elemental nano-sized selenium produced by probiotic latic acid bacteria was used as a lactomicroselenium (lactomicroSel) inhibitor of cell growth in the presence of lactomicroSel, and was followed by time-lapse microscopy. The size of lactomicroSel produced by probiotic bacteria was measured in situ and after isolation and purification. For these measurements the TESLA BS 540 transmission electron microscope was converted from analog (aTEM) to digital processing (dTEM), and further to remote-access internet electron microscopy (iTEM). Lactobacillus acidophilus produced fewer, but larger, lactomicroSel nanoparticles (200-350 nm) than Lactobacillus casei (L. casei), which generated many, smaller lactomicroSel particles (85-200 nm) and grains as a cloudy, less electrodense material. Streptococcus thermophilus cells generated selenoparticles (60-280 nm) in a suicidic manner. The size determined in situ in lactic acid bacteria was significantly lower than those measured by scanning electron microscopy after the isolation of lactomicroSel particles obtained from lactobacilli (100-500 nm), but higher relative to those isolated from Streptococcus thermopilus (50-100 nm). These differences indicate that smaller lactomicroSel particles could be more toxic to the producing bacteria themselves and discrepancies in size could have implications with respect to the applications of selenium nanoparticles as prebiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1047
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Lactobacilli
  • LactomicroSel
  • Nanoparticles
  • Streptococcus thermophilus (S. thermophilus)
  • Transmission electronmicroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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