Molecular methods

From BioMineWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
By courtesy of Anna Kaksonen
By courtesy of Anna Kaksonen

Molecular (culture-independent) tools can give detailed information on the presence, identity, and amounts of microbes in different environments or samples. They can be used without difficult and time-consuming cultivation techniques. By obtaining detailed information on the presence and identity of microbes in a system and the proportion each type of organism contributes to the microbial community, more insight can be gained in the role of these organisms in a process. These insights, combined with information on the physical and chemical parameters of the system, and genetical and physiological information on the organisms can be used to improve the performance of a leaching system.

Which tools are available?

A range of molecular biology tools exists that can be used in studying microbial communities to gain a better understanding of underlying bioleaching principles. These include techniques that can be used for:

  • Qualitative detection and identification of organisms, such as CE-SSCP, DGGE, T-RFLP etc.
  • (Semi-)quantitative detection of organisms, such as FISH and Q-PCR, recently also metagenomics.
  • Localization of organisms, such as FISH.

Each technique has its own advantages and draw-backs.

Techniques that are currently used most frequently in bioleaching studies are T-RFLP, DGGE and FISH techniques, while the techniques like CE-SSCP, CARD-FISH, and Q-PCR have been used only in more recent studies or are still (2007) in their developmental stages.

See also

Personal tools