Xiaoqiong Qi, David M. Carberry, Chen Cai, Shihu Hu, Zhiguo Yuan, Halin Rubinsztein Dunlop, and Jianhua Guo
Denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidizing (DAMO) microorganisms play an important role in the global carbon and nitrogen cycles as they are able to mediate methane oxidation using nitrite/nitrate under anoxic conditions. However, the physiological properties of DAMO microorganisms remain poorly understood, partially since the organisms are difficult to isolate or cultivate in pure culture and partially because of their long cultivation time. In this study, DAMO cell sorting has been conducted by integrating optical tweezers within enclosed microfluidic chips. This integrated cell sorting method has high purity, low infection rates, and causes no discernable harm to cell viability. The purity of the sorted cells was controlled by the microfluidic chip structure design and operation, while the cell viability was verified by imaging the cultured DAMO archaea after 420 days.