APPLICATIONS OF REAL-TIME QUANTITATIVE PCR FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY STUDIESM.A. KHAN, A.G. GANESH AND NAUSHAD RAIS
The real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is a robust and sensitive molecular technique to quantify phylogenetic and key functional genes of microbial populations in various natural and engineered environmental ecosystems under varying physical and chemical environmental conditions. The generated quantitative qPCR data can be used to relate variation in abundance of specific microbial groups, species, family or functional gene of interest and levels of gene expression in comparison with the change in environmental factors and or system processes. In this review, several applications of qPCR for the understanding of environmental microorganisms have been presented. The main qPCR applications reviewed are: quantification of uncultured environmental bacteria, detection of pathogens in environmental samples, the effect of antibiotics on anaerobic digester microbial community and understanding mechanism of nitrification and ammonia metabolism in engineered environmental ecosystems.
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