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Effects of Different Methods of DNA Extraction for Activated Sludge on the Subsequent Analysis of Bacterial Community Profiles

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The effect of different DNA extraction protocols on activated sludge DNA yield and bacterial community composition was evaluated by temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE). Nine different procedures to extract DNA were compared—sonication (30s), sonication (40s), sonication (50s), freezing-thawing, bead milling, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-lysozyme, SDS-proteinase K, SDS-lysozyme-proteinase, and a commercial extraction kit. It was found that the TGGE profiles and the DNA band numbers made significant differences via various extraction methods. The yield and purity of DNA extracted by sonication and other physical methods were not satisfactory, while the DNA purity extracted by SDS and other chemical-biological methods were better. Crude DNA extracts isolated by sonication and other physical methods passed the polymerase chain reaction, despite the absence of purification and acquired affluent DNA bands in TGGE. The affluence of bands in TGGE was not consistent with the yield and purification of DNA, but was correlative with extraction protocols. To analyze the activated sludge bacterial community by TGGE fingerprint, it is necessary to make a synthesis of the TGGE fingerprint profiles of chemical and physical DNA extraction methods to overcome the representative bias.

Keywords: DNA extraction and purification; activated sludge; bacterial community diversity; polymerase chain reaction; temperature gradient gel electrophoresis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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