Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 281–289 | Cite as

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

  • Tong Zhang
  • Herbert H. P. Fang


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.


TaqMan Probe Molecular Beacon Polymerase Chain Reaction Cycle pmoA Gene Methane Monooxygenase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank the Hong Kong Research Grants Council for the financial support of this study (HKU 7106/04E).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Civil EngineeringThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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