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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 695, Issue 1, pp 57–72 | Cite as

The application of oligonucleotide probes and microarrays for the identification of freshwater diatoms

  • Marco Berzano
  • Stefania Marcheggiani
  • Silvia Rombini
  • Roberto Spurio
ALGAE FOR MONITORING RIVERS

Abstract

Diatoms are major contributors to global carbon fixation and constitute a significant portion of biofilms found in lotic ecosystems. Despite their widespread abundance and the fact that extensive studies have been performed on morphological features of frustules, molecular tools for the identification of diatoms are not commonly available. This study focuses on the development of oligonucleotide probes for the detection of diatom species relevant to water quality assessment. The selected panel of diatoms covers all the species found in water of varying quality from the rivers of central-East Apennine (Italy). Small subunit rRNA-targeted probes were applied to a microarray platform as well as to a new technique termed Primer–Probe, with the aim of obtaining a molecular tool suitable for accurate identification of both single and mixed species diatom populations. The Primer–Probe technique together with dot-blot assays proved to be ideal for the preliminary screening of a large set of DNA oligonucleotides designed by ARB software. It was shown that microarrays, as a promising technology for rapid and simultaneous detection of a wide range of species-specific genetic markers, can be adapted to monitor changes within a diatom community. It is suggested that microarrays will provide a molecular basis for microbial identification to support standard microscopy techniques used by ecologists and environmental scientists for monitoring water quality.

Keywords

Freshwater diatoms Water quality PCR Microarrays Biodiversity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the EU-project MICROPAD, Grant number QLK3-CT-2002-01939. The authors thank Laura Mancini for her support in the use of ecological indicators and for the identification of freshwater diatoms, Mariacristina Torrisi for her helpful explanations on the use of EPI-D and Mohamed Ali Haider for his contribution to probe design at the early stages of this study. We also acknowledge the late David B. Czarnecki for his helpful advice and thank both Tom Murphy and Cynthia L. Pon for critical reading of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10750_2012_1112_MOESM1_ESM.doc (87 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 87 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Berzano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefania Marcheggiani
    • 2
    • 3
  • Silvia Rombini
    • 2
  • Roberto Spurio
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Central Veterinary Research LaboratoryCelbridgeIreland
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Microbial Biotechnologies, School of Biosciences and BiotechnologiesUniversity of CamerinoCamerinoItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimenti Ambiente e Prevenzione connessaIstituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly

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