Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis as a fingerprinting method for the analysis of soil microbial communities

https://doi.org/10.17221/132/2009-PSECitation:Valášková V., Baldrian P. (2009): Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis as a fingerprinting method for the analysis of soil microbial communities. Plant Soil Environ., 55: 413-423.
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In soil microbial ecology, the effects of environmental factors and their gradients, temporal changes or the response to specific experimental treatments of microbial communities can only be effectively analyzed using methods that address the structural differences among whole communities. Fingerprinting methods are the most appropriate technique for this task when multiple samples must be analyzed. Among the methods currently used to compare microbial communities based on nucleic acid sequences, the techniques based on differences in the melting properties of double-stranded molecules, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) or temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE), are the most widely used. Their main advantage is that they provide the possibility to further analyze whole sequences contained in fingerprints using molecular methods. In addition to the analysis of microbial communities based on DNA extracted from soils, DGGE/TGGE can also be used for the assessment of the active part of the community based on the analysis of RNA-derived sequences or for the analysis of sequences of functional genes encoding for proteins involved in important soil processes.
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