A tool, based upon the DNA microarray chip, for the identification of specific bacteria from activated sludge, using the hybridization of genomic DNA with random probes, is described. This chip was developed using the genomic DNAs from Gordonia amarae, the natural filamentous actinomycete that causes sludge foaming and bulking, as well as a nonfilamentous floc forming bacterium (Zoogloea ramigera) and the skin pathogen Mycobacterium peregrinum without any sequence information. The sets of target probes on amine-coated glass were made from a genomic library, constructed with PCR products derived from randomly fragmented genomic DNAs extracted from pure cultures of the three strains. Initial hybridization results, when pure cultures were employed, showed the specificity of the probes as well as the resolution of the system, demonstrating the capabilities of this system to identify specific bacterial strains. The microarray was also tested for its ability to distinguish specific bacteria from among mixed bacterial communities, such as in sludge, soil, or spiked genomic DNA samples. The results showed that the probes are specific, with only mild cross-hybridization occurring in a small number of cases. Furthermore, the chip clearly discriminated the presence of all three strains when they were present alone or together within mixed samples. Moreover, using the spot intensity and DNA hybridization kinetics, the starting genomic DNA concentrations could be estimated relatively well, which would make it possible to predict the number of specific bacteria present within the test samples. Therefore, the random genomic hybridization approach, i.e., without any sequence information available for the probes, is a practical protocol for the identification of and screening for specific bacteria within any complex bacterial community from the environmental samples, such as in activated sludge, although the possibility of cross-hybridization may still exist.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry