Encyclopedia of Metagenomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Karen E. Nelson

Conserved Regions in 16S Ribosome RNA Sequences and Primer Design for Studies of Environmental Microbes

  • Yong Wang
  • Pei-Yuan Qian
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6418-1_772-1


The taxonomic classification of prokaryotic organisms based on morphological differences is difficult. A ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequence has many polymorphic sites that can act as a genetic earmark to uncover the genetic background of prokaryotes (Fox 2010). Bacterial and archaeal genomes contain one to several copies of 16S rRNA genes (rDNA), depending on the physiological condition of the microbes (Klappenbach et al. 2000; Liao 2000). Because the rRNA sequences are vertically delivered to the next generation, they cannot be inherited by a different species. Hence, 16S rRNA sequences are considered to be a stable marker of morphological difference and have been applied in the taxonomic classification of prokaryotes (Woese 1987). Since the 1980s, partial and full-length sequences have been obtained using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology (Lane et al. 1985). These sequences have been deposited in the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP), Greengenes (http://greengenes.lbl.gov...


Coverage Rate Core Dataset High Coverage Rate Archaeal Primer Ribosomal Database Project Database 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Deep Sea ScienceSanya Institute of Deep Sea Science and EngineeringSan YaChina
  2. 2.KAUST Global Collaborative Program, Division of Life ScienceHong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong KongChina