Publications by authors named "Lesley A Robertson"

11 Publications

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Historical microbiology - using a Van Musschenbroek microscope.

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2019 08;366(16)

Department of Biotechnology and Delft Science Centre, Delft University of Technology, Mijnbouwstraat 120, 2628 RX Delft, The Netherlands.

A single-lensed microscope made by the Van Musschenbroek workshops between 1690 and 1750 has been examined experimentally, and the method of use established. The results were compared with those obtained with facsimile van Leeuwenhoek microscopes. As might be expected, each microscope had its stronger and weaker points.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnz203DOI Listing
August 2019

Was Antoni van Leeuwenhoek secretive? His experiments with insect corneas.

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2019 08;366(16)

Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Delft Science Centre, Mijnbouwstraat 120, 2628 RX Delft, The Netherlands.

It is often claimed that Antoni van Leeuwenhoek was secretive about his methods. However, closer examination of his letters suggests that this reputation was not always deserved. Some letters were not published in the Royal Society Proceedings, and others were edited. This paper describes the repetition of his experiments with the eyes of bees and dragonflies using his own account of his experiments, despite the fact that only one of the four letters was published in the Proceedings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnz194DOI Listing
August 2019

Lighting Van Leeuwenhoek's samples.

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2017 12;364(24)

Department of Biotechnology and Delft Science Centre, Delft University of Technology, Mijnbouwstraat 120, 2628RX, Delft, The Netherlands.

Possible techniques for lighting opaque samples while using Van Leeuwenhoek microscopes have been tested, and the results are presented in relation to published material. The design of the microscope causes the sample to be in shadow with any form of top lighting. It is therefore suggested that Van Leeuwenhoek's hinted 'particular method of observing' might refer to a different style of microscope as shown in the frontispiece of the sale catalogue for his microscopes, and available at that time for purchase from sellers of optical equipment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnx247DOI Listing
December 2017

And then there were 12--distinguishing Van Leeuwenhoek microscopes from old or new copies.

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2015 Jul 12;362(14). Epub 2015 Jul 12.

Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Julianalaan 67, 2628 BC Delft, the Netherlands

In the wake of announcements of the authentications of two previously unknown Van Leeuwenhoek microscopes in one month, this paper reviews the possibilities and potential pitfalls that might be involved in distinguishing 17th/18th century single-lensed microscopes from historical and modern copies. It is clear that a combination of characteristics must be considered, no single parameter will do.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnv113DOI Listing
July 2015

Historical microbiology, is it relevant in the 21st century?

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2015 May 6;362(9). Epub 2015 Apr 6.

Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, 2628BC, Delft, the Netherlands

Facsimile microscopes have been used to examine the possibilities of van Leeuwenhoek microscopes with a range of magnifications, particularly to confirm that bacteria can be seen if the microscope is strong enough. The relevance of historical microbiology in education is also illustrated by adapting versions of van Leeuwenhoek's pepper water experiment and Beijerinck's use of bioluminescent bacteria as oxygen probes. These experiments can demonstrate fundamentals such as enrichment and isolation cultures, physiology and experimental planning as well as critical reading of published material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnv057DOI Listing
May 2015

van Leeuwenhoek microscopes-where are they now?

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2015 May 6;362(9). Epub 2015 Apr 6.

Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BC, Delft, the Netherlands

When Antonie van Leeuwenhoek died, he left over 500 simple microscopes, aalkijkers (an adaption of his microscope to allow the examination of blood circulation in the tails of small eels) and lenses, yet now there are only 10 microscopes with a claim to being authentic, one possible aalkijker and six lenses. He made microscopes with more than one lens, and possibly three forms of the aalkijker. This paper attempts to establish exactly what he left and trace the fate of some of the others using the earliest possible documents and publications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnv056DOI Listing
May 2015

Historical microbiology: revival and phylogenetic analysis of the luminous bacterial cultures of M. W. Beijerinck.

FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2011 Dec 6;78(3):463-72. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

The Netherlands Culture Collection of Bacteria, CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Luminous bacteria isolated by Martinus W. Beijerinck were sealed in glass ampoules in 1924 and 1925 and stored under the names Photobacterium phosphoreum and 'Photobacterium splendidum'. To determine if the stored cultures were viable and to assess their evolutionary relationship with currently recognized bacteria, portions of the ampoule contents were inoculated into culture medium. Growth and luminescence were evident after 13 days of incubation, indicating the presence of viable cells after more than 80 years of storage. The Beijerinck strains are apparently the oldest bacterial cultures to be revived from storage. Multi-locus sequence analysis, based on the 16S rRNA, gapA, gyrB, pyrH, recA, luxA, and luxB genes, revealed that the Beijerinck strains are distant from the type strains of P. phosphoreum, ATCC 11040(T), and Vibrio splendidus, ATCC 33125(T), and instead form an evolutionarily distinct clade of Vibrio. Newly isolated strains from coastal seawater in Norway, France, Uruguay, Mexico, and Japan grouped with the Beijerinck strains, indicating a global distribution for this new clade, designated as the beijerinckii clade. Strains of the beijerinckii clade exhibited little sequence variation for the seven genes and approximately 6300 nucleotides examined despite the geographic distances and the more than 80 years separating their isolation. Gram-negative bacteria therefore can survive for many decades in liquid storage, and in nature, they do not necessarily diverge rapidly over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01177.xDOI Listing
December 2011

Beijerinck and the bioluminescent bacteria: microbiological experiments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2011 Feb 6;75(2):185-94. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.

Microbiological research in the days before specialized equipment, or even electricity, required a great deal of ingenuity. The revival of 90-year-old bioluminescent bacteria from Beijerinck's laboratory in Delft prompted a review of his work with these microorganisms and revealed their use in simple techniques for the investigation of, among other things, sugar metabolism in yeasts, oxygen generation and uptake and even the survival of microorganisms in liquid hydrogen. He used variant strains of bioluminescent bacteria in an attempt to study heredity and variation in biological systems and described one of the earliest examples of enzyme induction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.01004.xDOI Listing
February 2011

The Delft School of Microbiology, from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century.

Adv Appl Microbiol 2003 ;52:357-88

Kluyver Laboratory for Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2628BC, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2164(03)01014-1DOI Listing
November 2003

Metabolic pathway of anaerobic ammonium oxidation on the basis of N studies in a fluidized bed reactor.

Microbiology (Reading) 1997 Jul;143(7):2415-2421

Kluyver Laboratory for Biotechnology, Department of Microbiology and Enzymology, Delft University of Technology, Julianalaan 67, 2628 BC Delft, The Netherlands.

A novel metabolic pathway for anaerobic ammonium oxidation with nitrite as the electron acceptor has been elucidated using N-Iabelled nitrogen compounds. These experiments showed that ammonium was biologically oxidized with hydroxylamine as the most probable electron acceptor. The hydroxylamine itself is most likely derived from nitrite. Batch experiments in which ammonium was oxidized with hydroxylamine transiently accumulated hydrazine. The conversion of hydrazine to dinitrogen gas is postulated as the reaction generating electron equivalents for the reduction of nitrite to hydroxylamine. During the conversion of ammonium, a small amount of nitrate was formed from some of the nitrite. The addition of NHOH to an operating fluidized bed system caused a stoichiometric increase in the ammonium conversion rate (1 mmol I h) and a decrease in the nitrate production rate (0.5 mmol I h). Addition of hydrazine also caused a decrease in nitrate production. On the basis of these findings, it is postulated that the oxidation of nitrite to nitrate could provide the anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria with the reducing equivalents necessary for CO fixation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/00221287-143-7-2415DOI Listing
July 1997