• phylogenetic diversity;
  • 16S rRNA gene;
  • capillary racetrack enrichment;
  • metagenome-based PCR;
  • magnetotactic cocci


The racetrack-based PCR approach is widely used in phylogenetic analysis of magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), which are isolated from environmental samples using the capillary racetrack method. To evaluate whether the capillary racetrack-based enrichment can truly reflect the diversity of MTB in the targeted environmental sample, phylogenetic diversity studies of MTB enriched from the Miyun lake near Beijing were carried out, using both the capillary racetrack-based PCR and a modified metagenome-based PCR approach. Magnetotactic cocci were identified in the studied sample using both approaches. Comparative studies showed that three clusters of magnetotactic cocci were revealed by the modified metagenome-based PCR approach, while only one of them (e.g. MYG-22 sequence) was detected by the racetrack-based PCR approach from the studied sample. This suggests that the result of capillary racetrack-based enrichment might have been biased by the magnetotaxis of magnetotactic bacteria. It appears that the metagenome-based PCR approach better reflects the original diversity of MTB in the environmental sample.