Quantification of the presence and activity of specific microorganisms in nature

J K Jansson, James Ivor Prosser

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Traditional techniques for assessment of microbial numbers and activity generally lack the specificity required for risk assessment following environmental release of genetically engineered microbial inocula. Immunological and molecular-based techniques, such as DNA probing and genetic tagging, were initially used to determine the presence or absence of microorganisms in environmental samples. Increasingly they are being developed for quantification of populations of specific organisms, either indigenous or introduced, in the environment. In addition, they are being used to quantify the activity of particular organisms or groups of organisms, greatly extending the range of techniques available to the microbial ecologist. This article reviews the use of traditional techniques for the quantification of microbial population size and activity and the application of molecular techniques, including DNA probing, genetic marking, use of fluorescent probes, and quantitative PCR, in combination with advanced cell detection techniques such as confocal laser scanning microscopy and flow cytometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-120
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Biotechnology
Volume7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997

Keywords

  • molecular markers
  • microbial enumeration
  • microbial activity
  • quantitative PCR
  • fluorescent probes
  • rRNA probes
  • luminescence
  • confocal laser scanning microscopy
  • flow cytometry
  • POLYMERASE CHAIN-REACTION
  • MODIFIED PSEUDOMONAS-FLUORESCENS
  • TARGETED OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES
  • CONFOCAL LASER MICROSCOPY
  • FLOW CYTOMETRIC ANALYSIS
  • ESCHERICHIA-COLI
  • INSITU HYBRIDIZATION
  • BACTERIAL COMMUNITY
  • FIREFLY LUCIFERASE
  • MARINE-ENVIRONMENT

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