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J Appl Microbiol. 2011 Jan;110(1):27-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2010.04861.x. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

A rapid real-time PCR/DNA resolution melting method to identify Prototheca species.

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1
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e Emilia Romagna, Piacenza, Italy. matteo.ricchi@izsler.it

Abstract

AIM:

The study describes the development of a simple and rapid tool to identify yeast-like microalgae belonging to the genus Prototheca.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The method, based on two-step Real Time PCR reaction followed by DNA Resolution Melting Analysis (qPCR/RMA), has been developed using reference strains belonging to both pathogenic (P. zopfii genotype 2, P. wickerhamii and P. blaschkeae) and non-pathogenic species (P. zopfii genotype 1, P. stagnora and P. ulmea). In order to validate the method, seventy recently isolated Prototheca strains were thus tested in parallel with both the first qPCR/RMA and the conventional genotype-specific PCR assay: they were classified as P. zopfii genotype 1, P. zopfii genotype 2 and P. blaschkeae, with a perfect accordance between the two above methodologies. Furthermore, we used the second qPCR/RMA to identify the other species (P. stagnora, P. ulmea and P. wickerhamii), which cannot be discriminated by conventional PCR assay.

CONCLUSIONS:

The assay two-step Real Time PCR is accurate, robust, cost-effective and faster than auxonographical, biochemical or conventional molecular biology methods.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

the rapid and high throughout two-step qPCR/RMA tool can be usefully used for the identification of clinical and environmental Prototheca species into the framework of the diagnosis of animal (e.g. bovine mastitis) or human protothecosis.

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