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Environ Microbiol. 2006 Feb;8(2):308-20.

DNA extraction procedure: a critical issue for bacterial diversity assessment in marine sediments.

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Department of Marine Sciences, Marine Biology Section, Faculty of Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.


In order to evaluate whether different DNA extraction procedures can affect estimates of benthic bacterial diversity, based on 16S rRNA gene terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) fingerprinting technique, we compared two in situ lysis procedures (a SDS-based protocol and a commercial kit for DNA recovery) and one cell-extraction protocol on a variety of marine sediments. Despite the two in situ lysis procedures resulted in significantly different DNA yields (highest with the SDS in situ lysis), estimates of bacterial diversity provided a not significantly different ribotype richness, as well as similar values of the Shannon-Wiener (H') and Margalef (d) indices of biodiversity and of evenness (Pielou index, J). Conversely, the cell-extraction procedure for DNA extraction resulted always in a significantly lower ribotype richness and diversity. The analysis of similarities (anosim) among the T-RFLP electropherograms allowed concluding that ribotypes composition did not change significantly using different protocols. However, the analysis of beta-diversity (turnover diversity) revealed that a large number of ribotypes was observed exclusively with one of the three protocols utilized. When unshared ribotypes from in situ lysis and cell extraction were pooled together, total ribotype richness resulted much higher (up to 80%). Our results indicate that estimates of ribotype diversity based on a single protocol of DNA extraction can significantly underestimate the total number of bacterial ribotypes present in the benthic domain. We recommend that future studies will not only integrate different DNA extraction procedures, but also will explore the possibility of integrating two or more different genetic markers in order to increase our ability to detect the actual bacterial diversity in environmental samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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