In-situ Hybridization (ISH) – RLOv Membrane Gene 1, Tail Fiber Gene: Day 3

All washes/rinses were performed in cylindrical glass slide incubators at room temp (30mL):

  • Slides were briefly rinsed in dH2O three times.
  • Slides were counter stained with 0.05% aqueous Bismark Brown Y for 3mins.
  • Slides were briefly rinsed in dH2O, then 70% EtOH, then 100% EtOH.
  • Slides were air-dried in the fume hood.
  • Coverslips were added to each slide with three drops of Permount.
  • Permount was allowed to dry O/N at RT.

Images were captured using Nikon BR Essentials.

The same section of each slide (within an accession number set) was captured at 4x, 10x, and 20x magnifications for comparisons. Auto white balance adjustment was the only image manipulation performed. All images (see Results below) are as they were captured by the software.


Quick summary: Both probes appear to be functional! With that being the case, I will proceed to run ISH on black abalone samples (these test ISHs were with red abalone) for the proper assessment of RLOv localization.

All images are here (Dropbox): 20151204_ISH_RLOv

Tryptic images of 10x magnifications are presented below showing the H&E staining, negative control and RLOv probe.

ISH staining is expected to appear as dark brown staining.

08:1-7 (RLOv)

H&E – RLO inclusions are seen as the deep purple oblong structures.

Negative Control – RLO inclusions exhibit no staining and appear as oblong empty regions. These regions also no have any apparent cell wall/membrane around them. This is in contrast to the two other accession groups (08:1-12 & 08:1-15).

RLOv tail fiber – Staining is noticeable surrounding the RLO inclusion locations, but not within the inclusions. The staining is similar to the 08:1-12 negative control. So, it’s difficult to say if the staining in this sample is binding to its intended target (RLOv tail fiber) or if the difference seen is simply due to the particular section of this tissue.

RLOv membrane gene 1 – Not shown due to this region of tissue not being present on the slide.



08:1-12 (RLO CLASSIC)

H&E – RLO inclusions are seen as the deep purple oblong structures.

Negative Control – RLO inclusions appear similar to air bubbles, with no staining within them.

RLOv probes – Both probes stain within the RLO inclusions.


08:1-15 (RLO STIPPLED)

H&E – RLO inclusions are seen as light purple bulbous structures.

Negative Control – RLO inclusions are actually stained brown and are very noticeable. This is not expected.

RLOv membrane gene 1 - The staining is in the same locations as the negative control RLO inclusions. Intensity-wise, the staining seen from this probe is not much different than the negative control. However, the way the staining appears within the inclusions is different than the negative control. Not sure if this indicative of the probe working or if the different appearance is due to difference in tissue sections.

RLOv tail fiber – The staining is in the same locations as the negative control RLO inclusions. However, the intensity of the staining with the RLOv tail fiber probe is a much deeper brown, suggesting that the probe is binding within the RLO inclusions.

In-situ Hybridization (ISH) – RLOv Membrane Gene 1, Tail Fiber Gene: Day 2

All washes/rinses were performed in cyclindrical glass slide incubators (30mL):


  • All SSC washes were pre-heated to appropriate temps before proceeding
  • Hybridization solution was discarded and slides rinsed for ~30mins in 2x SSC.
  • Cover slips were removed.
  • Slides were washed twice in 2x SSC 15mins @ 40C.
  • Slides were washed three times in 1x SSC 15mins @ 40C.
  • Slides were washed once in 0.5x SSC 15mins @ 40C.
  • Tissue was equilibrated in Buffer 1 (100mM Tris-HCl, 10mM NaCl, pH = 7.5) 10mins @ RT.
  • Tissues were blocked with Blocking Buffer (Buffer 1 + 2% sheep serum + 0.3% Triton-X 100) for 1hr @ RT (500uL on each slide w/cover slips – sitting flat on bench top).


  • Antibody solution (Anti-Digoxigenin-AP Fab fragments [Roche - Exp Nov. 2010]) – Diluted anti-DIG 1:1000 in Blocking Buffer. Anti-DIG is stored @ 4C in FSH 240 on Lisa’s shelf.
  • Added 1mL of antibody solution to each slide and incubated without a cover slip for 2hrs @ RT – sitting flat on bench top.
  • Rinsed slides with Buffer 1 for 10mins, two times.
  • Rinsed slides with Buffer 2 (100mM tris-HCl, 100mM NaCl, 50mM MgCl2; pH = 9.5) for 10mins.
  • Incubated slides in substrate solution (30mL Buffer 2 + 135uL NBT [Roch - Exp Feb 2010 - 4-nitro blue tetrazolium] + 75uL BCIP [Roche Exp Nov 2010 - 5-Bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl phosphate]) O/N @ RT in the dark. Both NBT & BCIP are stored @ -20C in FSH 236 in the “ISH Reagents” box.

In-situ Hybridization (ISH) – RLOv Membrane Genes 1 & 2, Tail Fiber Gene: Day 1

To test out the viability of these RLOv ISH probes (from 20151109) and not waste black abalone slides if this doesn’t work, I selected three unstained red abalone post-esophagus sections:


  • 08:1-12-2
  • 08:1-12-3
  • 08:1-12-4


  • 08:1-7-7
  • 08:1-7-8
  • 08:1-7-9


  • 08:1-15-7
  • 08:1-15-8
  • 08:1-15-9

All slides were processed in a single, horizontal glass slide incubator (200mL), unless otherwise noted.

All steps were conducted at room temperature (RT), unless otherwise noted.


  • All slides were deparaffinized with three changes of xylene (SafeClear II; Fisher) for 10mins each.
  • Slides were hydrated with a graded ethanol series (100%, 100%, 80%, 70%, 50%) for 3mins each.
  • Slides were rinsed with molecular grade H2O.


  • Tissue sections were equilibrated in Tris Buffer (0.2M Tris-HCl, 2.0mM CaCl, pH = 7.2) for 5mins.
  • Tissues were permeabilized for 1.5hrs in preheated 50ug/mL Proteinase K (Qiagen) in Tris Buffer @ 56C.
  • Slides were rinsed with 1x PBS three times, 10mins each.
  • Slides were incubated 30mins in 30mL Prehybridization Buffer (50% deionized formamide, 4x SSC) @ 53C in a cylindrical glass slide incubator due to limited volume of deionized formamide available:

  • Prepared probes by boiling 3mins and immediately incubating in ice water bath for 30mins.
  • Slides were rinsed with 2x SSC and air dried for 5mins.
  • Probes were diluted 1:300 in 1000uL of Prehybridization Buffer. All three negative control probes (indicated by “-C” in subsequent labeling) were combined into a single dilution.

NOTE: RLOv Membrane Gene 2 probe was ruined because boiling water got into the tube during denaturation. This didn’t happen to any of the other tubes that were all boiled at the same time. Not sure what happened. However, this may have worked out OK because I did not pull enough slides to accomodate the negative control probes. So, now that I’m not able to test three probes, I can use the negative control probes!


  • 300uL of probe solutions and cover slip were added to the following slides:

  • The three groups of slides were placed into separate slide cases and a 1mL of Prehybridization Buffer was added to each case (to maintain high humidity during incubation).
  • The cases were incubated on their sides O/N @ 53C.

PCR – RLOv In-situ Hybridization (ISH) Probes

Ran probe-labeling PCRs to use in in-situ hybridization (ISH) using the PCR DIG Probe Sysnthesis Kit (Roche). Generated PCR probes for using the following BamHI-linearized plasmids:

  • pCR2.1/RLOv_membrane_gene_1
  • pCR2.1/RLOv_membrane_gene_1
  • pCR2.1/RLOv_tail_fiber

The Roche protocol recommends using only 10pg of plasmid DNA for probe labelling. As such, all three probes were diluted 1:10,000. A 1:1000 (999μL H2O + 1μL of plasmid) was made first. Then a 1:10 dilution was made (90μL H2O + 10μL from 1:1000 dilution of plasmid).

Additionally, I ran half reactions to conserve kit components. Roche recommends 50μL reactions; I ran 25μL and scaled all components appropriately.

All reactions were set up on ice and run in 0.2mL strip-cap PCR tubes.

Reaction calculations are here (Google Sheet): 20151109 – RLOv ISH Probe PCRs

Cycling params:

  1. 95C – 5mins
  2. 95C – 15s
  3. 55C – 15s
  4. 72C – 30s
  5. Go to Step 2, repeat 39 times.
  6. 72C – 10mins

After the PCR, 5μL of each reaction was run on a gel.


Hyperladder I (Bioline)

PCR DIG probe labelling products run on 1.1% agarose 1x TBE gel stained w/EtBr. A ‘+’ indicates DIG reaction, while a ‘-‘ indicates no DIG in reaction.

Two reactions were run for each plasmid: one with the DIG label (indicated by a ‘+’) and one without (indicated by a ‘-‘). If the labeling was successful, the PCR products from those reactions containing DIG will be larger (i.e. migrate slower) than those without. That is exactly what we see in each of the three potential ISH targets.

So, we now have three ISH probes ready for action! Will proceed with making fresh ISH buffers and ISH.

Probes were transferred to 0.5mL snap cap tubes and stored in my -20C box.

PCR – RLOv Clones

Colony PCRs were performed on each of the transformations from 20151015 (RLOv_ DNA_helicase, RLOv_head_to_tail, RLOv_membrane_gene_1, RLOv_membrane_gene_2, RLOv_tail_to_fiber) to confirm successful ligations in plasmid pCR2.1 using the M13F/R vector primers.

Colonies were picked form the transformation plates with pipette tips, re-streaked on a secondary, gridded, numbered LBAmp100+x-gal plate and then used to inoculate the respective PCR reactions.

Six white colonies (positive clones) and a single blue colony (negative clone) were selected from each transformation.

Master mix calcs are here (Google Sheet): 20151019 – Colony PCRs RLOv

Restreaked plates were incubated @ 37C O/N and then stored @ 4C (Parafilmed).

30μL of each reaction was run on a 1% agarose 1x Low TAE gel, stained w/EtBr.



All the PCRs look good. All white colonies selected contain a PCR product of appropriate size (i.e. larger than the blue colonies; negative [-C] control). Will select clones #1 from each to grow up for plasmid prep.

Cloning – Purified Abalone RLOv PCR Products

Purified PCR products from 20151008 (in situ hybridization [ISH] primers) & 20151009 (qPCR primers) RLOv primers were used for cloning. The qPCR primers are intended to develop a qPCR standard curve and the ISH primers are intended to develop three ISH probes.

  • RLOv_DNA_helicase (for qPCR)
  • RLOv_head_to_tail_gene (for qPCR)
  • RLOv_membrane_gene_1 (for ISH)
  • RLOv_membrane_gene_2 (for ISH)
  • RLOv_tail_fiber_gene (for ISH)

The PCR products were separately ligated using The Original TA Cloning Kit (Invitrogen).


Purified PCR 5 NA
10x Ligase Buffer 1 5.5
pCR2.1 Vector 2 5.5
H2O 1 5.5
T4 DNA Ligase 1 5.5
TOTAL 10 22

Ligation reactions were set up on ice.Combined 5μL of purified PCR product with 5μL of ligation master mix in a 1.5mL snap cap tube. Incubated 24hrs @ RT.



50μL of X-gal (20mg/mL) was added to a LB-Amp100 plates, spread and warmed @ 37C.

Five vials of OneShot TOP 10 chemically competent cells (Invitrogen) were thawed on ice. 3μL of the ligation reaction was added to the cells, gently mixed and incubated on ice for 5mins. 50μL of cells were transferred to the LB-Amp100+X-gal plates, spread and incubated O/N at 37C.

Agarose Gel – Phage ISH Primers PCRs

Ran PCR products from yesterday on a 1% agarose 1x TBE gel, stained with ethidium bromide.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The negative control sample should actually be labelled UW08:22-11A.


RLOv_membrane_gene_1 401 ~400bp
RLOv_membrane_gene_2 318 ~400bp
RLOv_tail_fiber_gene 451 ~500bp

PCR looks great. Excellent amplification in the RLO positive samples (06:6-54), with no amplification in the negative controls (UW08:22-11A) nor in the no template controls (NTC).

Excised the bands from each of the RLOv positive samples (see gel image below) and purified the DNA using UltrafreeDA Spin Columns (Millipore) according to the manufacturer’s protocol. DNA was stored @ 4C for cloning/labelling/sequencing at a later date.

Gel image showing excised regions.

PCR – New Withering Syndrome Phage ISH Primers

Ran a PCR using the new ISH primers that I previously designed:

  • RLOv_tail_fiber_gene
  • RLOv_membrane_gene_1
  • RLOv_membrane_gene_2

Template DNA was black abalone DNA (from digestive gland [Dg]): 06:6-54 (from 4/9/2008)

Negative control DNA: UW08:22-11A (from 3/5/2007)

No template controls (NTCs) were also run.

All samples were run in duplicate, in 0.5mL PCR tubes.


Master mix calcs

Template 1 NA
2x Apex Red Master Mix 12.5 82.5
Primer Forward 0.5 3.3
Primer Reverse 0.5 3.3
H2O 11.5 75.9
TOTAL 25 Add 24μL to each tube


Cycling Params (PTC-200; MJ Research)

Initial Denaturation
  • 95
  • 600
40 Cycles
  • 95
  • 55
  • 72
  • 15
  • 15
  • 30


Samples were held O/N at 4C. Will run on gel tomorrow.