Biological Diversity within Biofilms

b-rittmann at NWU.EDU b-rittmann at NWU.EDU
Mon Jan 27 08:32:20 EST 1997

Indeed, the use of ribosomally targetted oligonucleotide probes overcomes
much of the problem with culturing bias.  Of course, probing is still a new
technology, and many aspects of it remain in the experimental, or testing,
phase.  For example, when combined with PCR, probing should be able to
detect cell types never before cultured.  Otherwise, we are limited to
probing for cultured species for which we have the rRNA sequence.

Bruce Rittmann
Northwestern University

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
related methods, provide a solution to that problem?  Or am I out of touch
practical limitations to that approach.  Granted, an rDNA sequence alone
perfect for doing systematics and is useless for physiology, but it would
to be useful (in theory) for quantitating populations.  Are there no tricks
for teasing out relatively rare sequences?  

rapr at med.pitt.edu

Bruce E. Rittmann
John Evans Professor of Environmental Engineering
Northwestern University
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3109
b-rittmann at nwu.edu
847-491-8790 (ph); 847-491-4011 (fax)

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