, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 281-289
Date: 10 Feb 2006

Applications of real-time polymerase chain reaction for quantification of microorganisms in environmental samples

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Due to the advanced development of fluorogenic chemistry, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) has become an emerging technique for the detection and quantification of microorganisms in the environment. Compared with the conventional hybridization- and PCR-based techniques, qRT-PCR not only has better sensitivity and reproducibility, but it is also quicker to perform and has a minimum risk of amplicon carryover contamination. This article reviews the principle of this emerging technique, its detection reagents, target DNAs, quantification procedures, and affecting factors. The applications of qRT-PCR for the quantification of microorganisms in the environment are also summarized.