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Environmental Engineering Research 2009;14(1): 3-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2009.14.1.003
Microbial Community Analysis using RDP II (Ribosomal Database Project II): Methods, Tools and New Advances
Erick Cardenas1, James R. Cole1, James M. Tiedje1,2, and Joonhong Park2
1Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
2School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: James M. Tiedje ,Tel: +1-517-353-9021, Fax: +1-517-353-2917, Email: tiedjej@msu.edu
Received: March 1, 2009;  Accepted: March 15, 2009.
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ABSTRACT
Microorganisms play an important role in the geochemical cycles, industry, environmental cleanup, and biotechnology among other fields. Given the high microbial diversity, identification of the microorganism is essential in understanding and managing the processes. One of the most popular and powerful method for microbial identification is comparative 16S rRNA gene analysis. Due to the highly conserved nature of this essential gene, sequencing and later comparison of it against known rRNA databases can provide assignment of the bacteria into the taxonomy, and the identity of its closest relatives. Isolation and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes directly from natural environments (either from DNA or RNA) can also be used to study the structure of the whole microbial community. Nowadays, novel sequencing technologies with massive outputs are giving researchers worldwide the chance to study the microbial world with a depth that was previously too expensive to achieve. In this article we describe commonly used research approaches for the study of individual microorganisms and microbial communities using the tools provided by Ribosomal Database Project website.
Keywords: Microbial community analysis | Ribosomal RNA | Microbial diversity
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