Advantage of using inosine at the 3′ termini of 16S rRNA gene universal primers for the study of microbial diversity

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Journal Article
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2006, 72 (11), pp. 6902 - 6906
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To overcome the shortcomings of universal 16S rRNA gene primers 8F and 907R when studying the diversity of complex microbial communities, the 3′ termini of both primers were replaced with inosine. A comparison of the clone libraries derived using both primer sets showed seven bacterial phyla amplified by the altered primer set (8F-I/907R-I) whereas the original set amplified sequences belonging almost exclusively to Proteobacteria (95.8%). Sequences belonging to Firmicutes (42.6%) and Thermotogae (9.3%) were more abundant in a library obtained by using 8F-I/907R-I at a PCR annealing temperature of 54°C, while Proteobacteria sequences were more frequent (62.7%) in a library obtained at 50°C, somewhat resembling the result obtained using the original primer set. The increased diversity revealed by using primers 8F-I/907R-I confirms the usefulness of primers with inosine at the 3′ termini in studying the microbial diversity of environmental samples. Copyright © 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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