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Electrophoresis. 2002 Apr;23(7-8):1070-9.

Adaption of a fragment analysis technique to an automated high-throughput multicapillary electrophoresis device for the precise qualitative and quantitative characterization of microbial communities.

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1
Institute for Medical Microbiology, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg, Germany.

Abstract

The analysis of microbial communities is of increasing importance in life sciences and bioengineering. Traditional techniques of investigations like culture or cloning methods suffer from many disadvantages. They are unable to give a complete qualitative and quantitative view of the total amount of microorganisms themselves, their interactions among each other and with their environment. Obviously, the determination of static or dynamic balances among microorganisms is of fast growing interest. The generation of species specific and fluorescently labeled 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fragments by the terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) technique is a suitable tool to overcome the problems other methods have. For the separation of these fragments polyacrylamide gel sequencers are preferred as compared to capillary sequencers using linear polymers until now because of their higher electrophoretic resolution and therefore sizing accuracy. But modern capillary sequencers, especially multicapillary sequencers, offer an advanced grade of automation and an increased throughput necessary for the investigation of complex communities in long-time studies. Therefore, we adapted a T-RFLP technique to an automated high-throughput multicapillary electrophoresis device (ABI 3100 Genetic Analysis) with regard to a precise qualitative and quantitative characterization of microbial communities.

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