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Res Microbiol. 2000 Apr;151(3):167-77.

Monitoring complex bacterial communities using culture-independent molecular techniques: application to soil environment.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'√©cologie microbienne, UMR CNRS 5557, universit√© Claude Bernard, Lyon I, Villeurbanne, France.


Over the last decade, important advances in molecular biology led to the development of culture-independent approaches to describing bacterial communities. These new strategies, based on the analysis of DNA directly extracted from environmental samples, circumvent the steps of isolation and culturing of bacteria, which are known for their selectivity leading to a non-representative view of the extent of bacterial diversity. This review provides an overview of the potentials and limitations of some molecular approaches currently used in microbial ecology. Examples of applications to the study of indigenous soil microbial community illustrate the feasibility and the power of such approaches.

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