The analysis of environmental microbial communities has largely relied on a PCR-dependent amplification of genes entailing species identity as 16S rRNA. This approach is susceptible to biases depending on the level of primer matching in different species. Moreover, possible yet-to-discover taxa whose rRNA could differ enough from known ones would not be revealed. DNA-based methods moreover do not provide information on the actual physiological relevance of each taxon within an environment and are affected by the variable number of rRNA operons in different genomes. To overcome these drawbacks we propose an approach of direct sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA without any primer- or PCR-dependent step. The method was tested on a microbial community developing in an anammox bioreactor sampled at different time-points. A conventional PCR-based amplicon pyrosequencing was run in parallel. The community resulting from direct rRNA sequencing was highly consistent with the known biochemical processes operative in the reactor. As direct rRNA-seq is based not only on taxon abundance but also on physiological activity, no comparison between its results and those from PCR-based approaches can be applied. The novel principle is in this respect proposed not as an alternative but rather as a complementary methodology in microbial community studies.

Direct 16S rRNA-seq from bacterial communities: a PCR-independent approach to simultaneously assess microbial diversity and functional activity potential of each taxon

ROSSELLI, RICCARDO;ROMOLI, OTTAVIA;VEZZI, ALESSANDRO;CAMPANARO, STEFANO;DE PASCALE, FABIO;SCHIAVON, RICCARDO;CONCHERI, GIUSEPPE;VALLE, GIORGIO;SQUARTINI, ANDREA
2016

Abstract

The analysis of environmental microbial communities has largely relied on a PCR-dependent amplification of genes entailing species identity as 16S rRNA. This approach is susceptible to biases depending on the level of primer matching in different species. Moreover, possible yet-to-discover taxa whose rRNA could differ enough from known ones would not be revealed. DNA-based methods moreover do not provide information on the actual physiological relevance of each taxon within an environment and are affected by the variable number of rRNA operons in different genomes. To overcome these drawbacks we propose an approach of direct sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA without any primer- or PCR-dependent step. The method was tested on a microbial community developing in an anammox bioreactor sampled at different time-points. A conventional PCR-based amplicon pyrosequencing was run in parallel. The community resulting from direct rRNA sequencing was highly consistent with the known biochemical processes operative in the reactor. As direct rRNA-seq is based not only on taxon abundance but also on physiological activity, no comparison between its results and those from PCR-based approaches can be applied. The novel principle is in this respect proposed not as an alternative but rather as a complementary methodology in microbial community studies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3198642
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