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THE ROLE OF MOLECULAR METHODS IN ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY

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Abstract:

Molecular methods provide powerful new tools to analyze biological-treatment processes. Because molecular methods can be used to directly interrogate the genetic information about the microbial community, they can provide the fine detail that is impossible with the blunt, aggregated information usually obtained from the more traditional measures. Molecular methods allow us to track critical strains, such as ammonia oxidizers, that comprise a small fraction of the total biomass. They also allow us to track specific metabolisms or other functions that are key to the good performance of a system. Despite their power, molecular method cannot be used alone. The aggregated measures and quantitative tools remain necessary to establish mass balances, to quantify the function of the microbial community, and to connect the results of molecular assays to practice.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864701790902789

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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