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Summary

Some classes of high G+C content organisms such as the Actinobacteria, which are known through culture-based studies to be present in large numbers in particular microbial communities, are under-represented or even absent from 16S rRNA or cpn60 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product libraries derived from these templates. Using reference cpn60 sequence data from organisms with high G+C content genomes, a pair of PCR primers were designed which, when used in combination with the previously developed degenerate, universal cpn60 primers, improve the representation of templates with high G+C content. The primers were validated using a combination of traditional and quantitative real-time PCR on both manufactured template mixtures and biological samples. The development and optimization of this specific primer mixture represents an improvement of established methods and a significant advance in the ability to generate cpn60 PCR product libraries that more closely represent the sequence diversity in complex templates.