Next-generation sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicons

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Journal titleJournal of Visualized Experiments
Article numbere51709
SubjectMolecular Biology; Issue 90; Metagenomics; Bacteria; 16S ribosomal RNA gene; Amplicon sequencing; Next-generation sequencing; benchtop sequencers
AbstractOne of the major questions in microbial ecology is "who is there?" This question can be answered using various tools, but one of the long-lasting gold standards is to sequence 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene amplicons generated by domain-level PCR reactions amplifying from genomic DNA. Traditionally, this was performed by cloning and Sanger (capillary electrophoresis) sequencing of PCR amplicons. The advent of next-generation sequencing has tremendously simplified and increased the sequencing depth for 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The introduction of benchtop sequencers now allows small labs to perform their 16S rRNA sequencing in-house in a matter of days. Here, an approach for 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing using a benchtop next-generation sequencer is detailed. The environmental DNA is first amplified by PCR using primers that contain sequencing adapters and barcodes. They are then coupled to spherical particles via emulsion PCR. The particles are loaded on a disposable chip and the chip is inserted in the sequencing machine after which the sequencing is performed. The sequences are retrieved in fastq format, filtered and the barcodes are used to establish the sample membership of the reads. The filtered and binned reads are then further analyzed using publically available tools. An example analysis where the reads were classified with a taxonomy-finding algorithm within the software package Mothur is given. The method outlined here is simple, inexpensive and straightforward and should help smaller labs to take advantage from the ongoing genomic revolution.
Publication date
AffiliationEnergy, Mining and Environment; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21272676
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Record identifier6a3eed0c-f729-4a8c-800c-cf5765d6e276
Record created2014-12-03
Record modified2016-05-09
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