Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 1071–1074 | Cite as

Effects of PCR cycle number and DNA polymerase type on the 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis of bacterial communities

  • Jae-Hyung Ahn
  • Byung-Yong Kim
  • Jaekyeong Song
  • Hang-Yeon WeonEmail author


The effects of PCR cycle number and DNA polymerase type on 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis were investigated using an artificially prepared bacterial community (mock community). The bacterial richness was overestimated at increased PCR cycle number mostly due to the occurence of chimeric sequences, and this was more serious with a DNA polymerase having proofreading activity than with Taq DNA polymerase. These results suggest that PCR cycle number must be kept as low as possible for accurate estimation of bacterial richness and that particular care must be taken when a DNA polymerase having proofreading activity is used.


pyrosequencing 16S rRNA gene PCR artifacts PCR cycle number DNA polymerase 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jae-Hyung Ahn
    • 1
  • Byung-Yong Kim
    • 1
  • Jaekyeong Song
    • 1
  • Hang-Yeon Weon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Agricultural Microbiology Division, National Academy of Agricultural ScienceRural Development AdministrationSuwonRepublic of Korea

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