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Microb Ecol. 2006 Aug;52(2):159-75. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Microarray applications in microbial ecology research.

Author information

1
Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.

Abstract

Microarray technology has the unparalleled potential to simultaneously determine the dynamics and/or activities of most, if not all, of the microbial populations in complex environments such as soils and sediments. Researchers have developed several types of arrays that characterize the microbial populations in these samples based on their phylogenetic relatedness or functional genomic content. Several recent studies have used these microarrays to investigate ecological issues; however, most have only analyzed a limited number of samples with relatively few experiments utilizing the full high-throughput potential of microarray analysis. This is due in part to the unique analytical challenges that these samples present with regard to sensitivity, specificity, quantitation, and data analysis. This review discusses specific applications of microarrays to microbial ecology research along with some of the latest studies addressing the difficulties encountered during analysis of complex microbial communities within environmental samples. With continued development, microarray technology may ultimately achieve its potential for comprehensive, high-throughput characterization of microbial populations in near real time.

PMID:
16897303
DOI:
10.1007/s00248-006-9072-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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