Research Article

Use of PCR-DHPLC with fluorescence detection for the characterization of the bacterial diversity during cassava (Manihot esculenta crantz) fermentation

Published: February 28, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (1) : 1304-1313 DOI: 10.4238/2014.February.28.2

Abstract

Denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) has been described as a suitable method to study DNA polymorphisms. Here, cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) fermentation liquor was examined using DHPLC analysis to characterize the bacterial diversity during the fermentation process. GC-clamped amplicons corresponding to a variable region of the bacterial community 16S rDNA were synthesized using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and then resolved on a base-composition basis using preparative DHPLC. Eluate fractions were collected at random and used as a source of whole community DNA that could be used to determine the bacterial diversity. As a first approach, GC-clamps were removed from the eluted DNA fragments using PCR to avoid the possible bias these clamps could cause during the construction of clone libraries. As a second approach, a clone library of each eluate sample was constructed, preserving the GC-clamps of the DNA fragments. The first approach generated 132 bacterial rDNA sequences with an average size of 200 bp, 45% of which had similarity to unculturable or non-classified bacteria. The second approach produced 194 sequences identified as Proteobacteria (48%), uncultured or non-classified environmental bacteria (40%) and Firmicutes (12%). We detected a remarkably greater bacterial diversity using the first approach than the second approach. The DHPLC-PCR method allowed for the fast and non-laborious detection of a vast bacterial diversity that was associated with cassava fermentation, and we conclude that it is a promising alternative for the characterization of the overall microbial diversity in complex samples.

Denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) has been described as a suitable method to study DNA polymorphisms. Here, cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) fermentation liquor was examined using DHPLC analysis to characterize the bacterial diversity during the fermentation process. GC-clamped amplicons corresponding to a variable region of the bacterial community 16S rDNA were synthesized using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and then resolved on a base-composition basis using preparative DHPLC. Eluate fractions were collected at random and used as a source of whole community DNA that could be used to determine the bacterial diversity. As a first approach, GC-clamps were removed from the eluted DNA fragments using PCR to avoid the possible bias these clamps could cause during the construction of clone libraries. As a second approach, a clone library of each eluate sample was constructed, preserving the GC-clamps of the DNA fragments. The first approach generated 132 bacterial rDNA sequences with an average size of 200 bp, 45% of which had similarity to unculturable or non-classified bacteria. The second approach produced 194 sequences identified as Proteobacteria (48%), uncultured or non-classified environmental bacteria (40%) and Firmicutes (12%). We detected a remarkably greater bacterial diversity using the first approach than the second approach. The DHPLC-PCR method allowed for the fast and non-laborious detection of a vast bacterial diversity that was associated with cassava fermentation, and we conclude that it is a promising alternative for the characterization of the overall microbial diversity in complex samples.