PCR primers to amplify 16S rRNA genes from cyanobacteria

Ulrich Nübel, Ferran Garcia-Pichel, Gerard Muyzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1192 Scopus citations


We developed and tested a set of oligonucleotide primers for the specific amplification of 16S rRNA gene segments from cyanobacteria and plastids by PCR. PCR products were recovered from all cultures of cyanobacteria and diatoms that were checked but not from other bacteria and archaei. Gene segments selectively retrieved from cyanobacteria and diatoms in unialgal but nonaxenic cultures and from cyanobionts in lichens could be directly sequenced. In the context of growing sequence databases, this procedure allows rapid and phylogenetically meaningful identification without pure cultures or molecular cloning. We demonstrate the use of this specific PCR in combination with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to probe the diversity of oxygenic phototrophic microorganisms in cultures, lichens, and complex microbial communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3327-3332
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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