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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Apr;70(3):281-9. Epub 2006 Feb 10.

Applications of real-time polymerase chain reaction for quantification of microorganisms in environmental samples.

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  • 1Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China.


Due to the advanced development of fluorogenic chemistry, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) has become an emerging technique for the detection and quantification of microorganisms in the environment. Compared with the conventional hybridization- and PCR-based techniques, qRT-PCR not only has better sensitivity and reproducibility, but it is also quicker to perform and has a minimum risk of amplicon carryover contamination. This article reviews the principle of this emerging technique, its detection reagents, target DNAs, quantification procedures, and affecting factors. The applications of qRT-PCR for the quantification of microorganisms in the environment are also summarized.

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