Application of microarrays (phylochips) for analysis of community diversity by species identification
Kegel, Jessica U.; Guillebault, Delphine; Medlin, Linda K.
Abstract Molecular probe-based methods (Fluorescent in-situ hybridisation or FISH, Next Generation Sequencing or NGS) have proved successful in improving both the efficiency and accuracy of the identification of microorganisms, especially those that lack distinct morphological features, such as picoplankton. However, FISH methods have the major drawback that they can only identify one or just a few species at a time because of the reduced number of available fluorochromes that can be added to the probe. Although the length of sequence that can be obtained is continually improving, NGS still requires a great deal of handling time, its analysis time is still months and with a PCR step it will always be sensitive to natural enzyme inhibitors. With the use of DNA microarrays, it is possible to identify large numbers of taxa on a single-glass slide, the so-called phylochip, which can be semi-quantitative. This review details the major steps in probe design, design and production of a phylochip and validation of the array. Finally, major microarray studies in the phytoplankton community are reviewed to demonstrate the scope of the method.