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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 Mar 15;196(2):129-33.

Identification of archaeal rDNA from subgingival dental plaque by PCR amplification and sequence analysis.

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Institute of Preventive Dentistry and Oral Microbiology, Dental Center, University of Basel, Hebelstr. 3, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.


A PCR assay for the amplification of small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) of Euryarchaea was developed and used to detect archaeal rDNA in 37 (77%) out of 48 pooled subgingival plaque samples from 48 patients suffering from periodontal disease. One major group of cloned periodontal sequences was identical to Methanobrevibacter oralis and a second minor group to Methanobrevibacter smithii. These two groups and a third novel group were found to be more than 98% similar to each other over an 0.65-kb segment of the 16S rRNA gene sequenced. M. oralis was found to be the predominant archaeon in the subgingival dental plaque. Phylogenetic analysis of partial SSU rDNA sequences revealed evidence for a distinct cluster for human and animal Methanobrevibacter sp. within the Methanobacteriaceae family.

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