Biological Diversity within Biofilms

Robert Preston rapr at med.pitt.edu
Sun Jan 26 01:16:06 EST 1997


In article <33E9D23A.5612 at sask.usask.ca>, Subramaniank at SASK.USASK.CA
(Karthikeyan Subramanian) wrote:
> How can we discuss the structure or biological diversity of a biofilm
> community, when we can culture only a small percentage of the organisms
> present, and the normal plating procedures can exclude those members....
> which may be crucial to the biofilm function, yet present only on those
> plates which are TNTC.

Doesn't PCR-based DNA sequencing, using "universal" ribosomal DNA primers and 
related methods, provide a solution to that problem?  Or am I out of touch with 
practical limitations to that approach.  Granted, an rDNA sequence alone isn't
perfect for doing systematics and is useless for physiology, but it would seem
to be useful (in theory) for quantitating populations.  Are there no tricks
for teasing out relatively rare sequences?  

R.A.Preston
rapr at med.pitt.edu



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