RNA stable isotope probing, a novel means of linking microbial community function to Phylogeny

Manefield, Mike; Whiteley, Andrew S.; Griffiths, Robert I.; Bailey, Mark J.. 2002 RNA stable isotope probing, a novel means of linking microbial community function to Phylogeny. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 68 (11). 5367-5373.

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Identifying microorganisms responsible for recognized environmental processes remains a great challenge in contemporary microbial ecology. Only in the last few years have methodological innovations provided access to the relationship between the function of a microbial community and the phylogeny of the organisms accountable for it. In this study stable-isotope-labeled [13C]phenol was fed into a phenol-degrading community from an aerobic industrial bioreactor, and the 13C-labeled RNA produced was used to identify the bacteria responsible for the process. Stable-isotope-labeled RNA was analyzed by equilibrium density centrifugation in concert with reverse transcription-PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. In contradiction with findings from conventional methodologies, this unique approach revealed that phenol degradation in the microbial community under investigation is dominated by a member of the Thauera genus. Our results suggest that this organism is important for the function of this bioreactor.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Molecular Microbial Ecology
ISSN: 0099-2240
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 26 Apr 2012 14:20 +0 (UTC)

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