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Microb Ecol. 2012 Nov;64(4):1047-55. doi: 10.1007/s00248-012-0087-x. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Evaluation of marine bacteroidetes-specific primers for microbial diversity and dynamics studies.

Author information

1
Departament de Biologia Marina i Oceanografia, Institut de Ciències del Mar, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, ES-08003, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain.

Abstract

Assumptions on the matching specificity of group-specific bacterial primers may bias the interpretation of environmental microbial studies. As available sequence data continue growing, the performance of primers and probes needs to be reevaluated. Here, we present an evaluation of several commonly used and one newly designed Bacteroidetes-specific primer (CF418). First, we revised the in silico primer coverage and specificity with the current SILVA and RDP databases. We found minor differences with previous studies, which could be explained by the chosen databases, taxonomies, and matching criteria. We selected eight commonly used Bacteroidetes primers and tested them with a collection of assorted marine bacterial isolates. We also used the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) approach in environmental samples to evaluate their ability to yield clear and diverse band patterns corresponding to Bacteroidetes phylotypes. Among the primers tested, CF968R did not provide satisfactory results in DGGE, although it exhibited the highest in silico coverage for Flavobacteria. Primers CFB560 and CFB555 presented undesirable features, such as requiring nested protocols or presence of degeneracies. Finally, the new primer CF418 and primer CF319a were used to explore the Bacteroidetes dynamics throughout a 1-year cycle in Mediterranean coastal waters (Blanes Bay Microbial Observatory). Both primers provided clear and diverse banding patterns, but the low specificity of CF319a was evidenced by 83.3 % of the bands sequenced corresponding to nontarget taxa. The satisfactory DGGE banding patterns and the wide diversity of sequences retrieved from DGGE bands with primer CF418 prove it to be a valuable alternative for the study of Bacteroidetes communities, recovering a wide range of phylotypes within the group.

PMID:
22805741
DOI:
10.1007/s00248-012-0087-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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