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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Feb;23(1):96-102. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2011.10.010. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

New trends in fluorescence in situ hybridization for identification and functional analyses of microbes.

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Department of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) has become an indispensable tool for rapid and direct single-cell identification of microbes by detecting signature regions in their rRNA molecules. Recent advances in this field include new web-based tools for assisting probe design and optimization of experimental conditions, easy-to-implement signal amplification strategies, innovative multiplexing approaches, and the combination of FISH with transmission electron microscopy or extracellular staining techniques. Further emerging developments focus on sorting FISH-identified cells for subsequent single-cell genomics and on the direct detection of specific genes within single microbial cells by advanced FISH techniques employing various strategies for massive signal amplification.

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