In situ PCR for visualizing distribution of a functional gene "amoA" in a biofilm regardless of activity

Tatsuhiko Hoshino, Satoshi Tsuneda, Akira Hirata, Yuhei Inamori

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria present in biofilms resulting from a nitrifying reactor were detected by both a conventional FISH technique and an original in situ PCR technique. Both techniques showed that ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were found near the surface of the biofilms. However, after the biofilm had been exposed to 2 weeks of ammonia starvation, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria present in the biofilm could not be detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) because they did not have sufficient copies of rRNA. In contrast, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria could be detected by in situ PCR with strong signal. It was thus demonstrated that a cell possessing a specific functional gene is detectable by in situ PCR regardless of its activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct 9



  • Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria
  • Biofilm
  • In situ PCR
  • amoA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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