At least some of the cells that survive ampicillin treatment are able to resume growth. The cells were treated with ampicillin as described in Figure 6. The cells not lysed by ampicillin were isolated by flow cytometric sorting (A, blue). A population of debris particles (A, green) was used as a control for sterility of the procedure. For some counting events it was impossible to decide if they represent cells or debris particles. These events are shown in black. The cells were treated with ampicillin for 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 3 hours, isolated and inoculated into fresh medium. Increase in the numbers of growing and nongrowing cells was followed by flow cytometry (B). The growing and nongrowing cells were defined by their GFP content and SSC-H parameters as described in Figure 3. Extrapolations for estimating a minimum (2) or maximum (1) percentage of persisters are indicated by dashed lines.
Roostalu et al. BMC Microbiology 2008 8:68 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-8-68