Monitoring Acidophilic Microbes With Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Assays - Preprint 09-014

Roberto, F. F.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
Many techniques that are used to characterize and monitor microbial populations associated with sulfide mineral bioleaching require the cultivation of the organisms on solid or liquid media. Chemolithotrophic species, such as Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans, or thermophilic chemolithotrophs, such as Acidianus brierleyi and Sulfolobus solfataricus can grow quite slowly, requiring weeks to complete efforts to identify and quantify these microbes associated with bioleach samples. Real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assays in which DNA targets are amplified in the presence of fluorescent oligonucleotide primers, allowing the monitoring and quantification of the amplification reactions as they progress, provide a means of rapidly detecting the presence of microbial species of interest, and their relative abundance in a sample. This presentation will describe the design and use of such assays to monitor acidophilic microbes in the environment and in bioleaching operations. These assays provide results within 2-3 hours, and can detect less than 100 individual microbial cells.
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