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CSI: Microbial version without PCR
Date:9/21/2011

s," Andersen says. "The choice of which of these two PCR-free methods to use is case-by-case. Some samples work fine with the simple and direct rRNA method while others require the additional steps of the double-stranded cDNA method."

Andersen, DeAngelis and their colleagues successfully tested their two new PCR-free analysis techniques by comparing results with PCR-amplified DNA tests using a a mock community of eight microbial taxa in three environmental sample types: chromium-contaminated aquifer groundwater; tropical forest soil; and secondary sewage in sea water.

"Community profiles produced by our alternative methods showed taxa differences that would be expected based on accompanying data, but were missing in PCR-amplified communities," DeAngelis says. "Our result show that a PCR-independent view of microbial communities can potentially change which microbes we think are dominant in an ecosystem. At JBEI, for example, we can use these new methods to identify microbes that are most active in breaking down feedstock biomass, such as switchgrass, into sugars that can be synthesized into advance biofuels."


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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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