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Publication Title

Applied and Environmental Microbiology








PCR was used to amplify (eu)bacterial small-subunit (16S) rRNA genes from total-community genomic DNA. The source of total-community genomic DNA used for this culture-independent analysis was the microbial mats from a deep-sea, hydrothermal vent system, Pele's Vents, located at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii. Oligonucleotides complementary to conserved regions in the 16S rRNA-encoding DNA (rDNA) of bacteria were used to direct the synthesis of PCR products, which were then subcloned by blunt-end ligation into phagemid vector pBluescript II. Restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns, created by using tandem tetrameric restriction endonucleases, revealed the presence of 12 groups of 16S rRNA genes representing discrete operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The rank order abundance of these putative OTUs was measured, and the two most abundant OTUs accounted for 72.9% of all of the 16S rDNA clones. Among the remaining 27.1% of the 16S rDNA clones, none of the 10 OTUs was represented by more than three individual clones. The cumulative OTU distribution for 48 bacterial 16S rDNA clones demonstrated that the majority of taxa represented in the clone library were detected, a result which we assume to be an estimate of the diversity of bacteria in the native hydrothermal vent habitat. 16S rDNA fingerprinting of individual clones belonging to particular OTUs by using an oligonucleotide probe that binds to a universally conserved region of the 16S rDNA fragments was conducted to confirm OTU specificity and 16S rDNA identity.

Original Publication Citation

Moyer, C.L., Dobbs, F.C., & Karl, D.M. (1994). Estimation of diversity and community structure through restriction-fragment-length-polymorphism distribution analysis of bacterial 16s ribosomal-RNA genes from a microbial mat at an active, hydrothermal vent system, Loihi Seamount, Hawaii. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 60(3), 871-879.