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Title: Improved Bacterial 16S rRNA Gene (V4 and V4-5) and Fungal Internal Transcribed Spacer Marker Gene Primers for Microbial Community Surveys

Designing primers for PCR-based taxonomic surveys that amplify a broad range of phylotypes in varied community samples is a difficult challenge, and the comparability of datasets amplified with varied primers requires attention. Here we examine the performance of modified 16S rRNA gene and ITS primers for archaea/bacteria and fungi, respectively, with non-aquatic samples. We moved primer barcodes to the 5’-end, allowing for a range of different 3’ primer pairings, such as the 515f/926r primer pair, which amplifies variable regions 4-5 of the 16S rRNA gene. We additionally demonstrate that modifications to the 515f/806r (variable region 4) 16S primer pair, which improves detection of Thaumarchaeota and SAR11 in marine samples, do not degrade performance on taxa already amplified effectively by the original primer set. Alterations to the fungal ITS primers did result in differential but overall improved performance compared to the original primers. In both cases, the improved primers should be widely adopted for amplicon studies.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: mSystems, 1(1):Article No. e00009-15
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States