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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Feb 14;219(1):87-91.

Identification of mixed bacterial DNA contamination in broad-range PCR amplification of 16S rDNA V1 and V3 variable regions by pyrosequencing of cloned amplicons.

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Molecular Biology, Strategic Development-LMO, University Hospital, 58185, Linköping, Sweden.


Using a sensitive and rapid method combining broad-range PCR amplification of bacterial 16S rDNA fragments and pyrosequencing for detection, identification and typing, we have found contaminating bacterial DNA in our reagents used for PCR. Identified bacteria are the water-borne bacterial genera Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Xanthomonas, Ralstonia and Bacillus. Our results are in concordance with recent reports of contaminated industrial water systems. In light of this conclusion, we believe that there is a need for increased awareness of possible contamination in uncertified widely used molecular biology reagents, including ultra-pure water. Since sequence-based 16S rDNA techniques are used in a variety of settings for bacterial typing and the characterization of microbial communities, we feel that future certification of molecular biology reagents, as free of nucleic acids, would be advantageous.

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