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Trends in bacterial and fungal communities in ant nests observed with Terminal-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques-validity and compatibility in ecological studies
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF). Department of Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. (EcoChange; UMFpub)
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2018 (English)In: PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359, E-ISSN 2167-8359, Vol. 6, article id e5289Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Microbes are ubiquitous and often occur in functionally and taxonomically complex communities. Unveiling these community dynamics is one of the main challenges of microbial research. Combining a robust, cost effective and widely used method such as Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) with a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) method (Illumina MiSeq), offers a solid alternative for comprehensive assessment of microbial communities. Here, these two methods were combined in a study of complex bacterial and fungal communities in the nest mounds of the ant Formica exsecta, with the aim to assess the degree to which these methods can be used to complement each other. The results show that these methodologies capture similar spatiotemporal variations, as well as corresponding functional and taxonomical detail, of the microbial communities in a challenging medium consisting of soil, decomposing plant litter and an insect inhabitant. Both methods are suitable for the analysis of complex environmental microbial communities, but when combined, they complement each other well and can provide even more robust results. T-RFLP can be trusted to show similar general community patterns as Illumina MiSeq and remains a good option if resources for NGS methods are lacking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PeerJ Inc. , 2018. Vol. 6, article id e5289
Keywords [en]
NGS, T-RFLP, Fungi, Bacteria, Ants, Formica exsecta, Illumina MiSeq, Spatiotemporal trends, Microbial communities
National Category
Microbiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150673DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5289ISI: 000439652200010PubMedID: 30042898Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85050278721OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150673DiVA, id: diva2:1239492
Available from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2018-10-22Bibliographically approved

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Rowe, Owen F.

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