Single-cell analysis and isolation for microbiology and biotechnology: Methods and applications

Satoshi Ishii, Kanako Tago, Keishi Senoo

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Various single-cell isolation techniques, including dilution, micromanipulation, flow cytometry, microfluidics, and compartmentalization, have been developed. These techniques can be used to cultivate previously uncultured microbes, to assess and monitor cell physiology and function, and to screen for novel microbiological products. Various other techniques, such as viable staining, in situ hybridization, and those using autofluorescence proteins, are frequently combined with these single-cell isolation techniques depending on the purpose of the study. In this review article, we summarize currently available single-cell isolation techniques and their applications, when used in combination with other techniques, in microbiological and biotechnological studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1292
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgment This work was supported by the Program for Promotion of Basic Research Activities for Innovative Biosciences (PROBRAIN) from Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, Japan.


  • Compartmentalization
  • Dilution-to-extinction
  • Flow cytometry
  • Microfluidics
  • Micromanipulation
  • Single-cell isolation


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