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      Molecular Techniques for the Detection of Organisms in Aquatic Environments, with Emphasis on Harmful Algal Bloom Species

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          Abstract

          Molecular techniques to detect organisms in aquatic ecosystems are being gradually considered as an attractive alternative to standard laboratory methods. They offer faster and more accurate means of detecting and monitoring species, with respect to their traditional homologues based on culture and microscopic counting. Molecular techniques are particularly attractive when multiple species need to be detected and/or are in very low abundance. This paper reviews molecular techniques based on whole cells, such as microscope-based enumeration and Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) and molecular cell-free formats, such as sandwich hybridization assay (SHA), biosensors, microarrays, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and real time PCR (RT-PCR). Those that combine one or several laboratory functions into a single integrated system (lab-on-a-chip) and techniques that generate a much higher throughput data, such as next-generation systems (NGS), were also reviewed. We also included some other approaches that enhance the performance of molecular techniques. For instance, nano-bioengineered probes and platforms, pre-concentration and magnetic separation systems, and solid-phase hybridization offer highly pre-concentration capabilities. Isothermal amplification and hybridization chain reaction (HCR) improve hybridization and amplification techniques. Finally, we presented a study case of field remote sensing of harmful algal blooms (HABs), the only example of real time monitoring, and close the discussion with future directions and concluding remarks.

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          Most cited references 148

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          Microbial diversity in the deep sea and the underexplored "rare biosphere".

          The evolution of marine microbes over billions of years predicts that the composition of microbial communities should be much greater than the published estimates of a few thousand distinct kinds of microbes per liter of seawater. By adopting a massively parallel tag sequencing strategy, we show that bacterial communities of deep water masses of the North Atlantic and diffuse flow hydrothermal vents are one to two orders of magnitude more complex than previously reported for any microbial environment. A relatively small number of different populations dominate all samples, but thousands of low-abundance populations account for most of the observed phylogenetic diversity. This "rare biosphere" is very ancient and may represent a nearly inexhaustible source of genomic innovation. Members of the rare biosphere are highly divergent from each other and, at different times in earth's history, may have had a profound impact on shaping planetary processes.
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            A DNA-based method for rationally assembling nanoparticles into macroscopic materials.

            Colloidal particles of metals and semiconductors have potentially useful optical, optoelectronic and material properties that derive from their small (nanoscopic) size. These properties might lead to applications including chemical sensors, spectroscopic enhancers, quantum dot and nanostructure fabrication, and microimaging methods. A great deal of control can now be exercised over the chemical composition, size and polydispersity of colloidal particles, and many methods have been developed for assembling them into useful aggregates and materials. Here we describe a method for assembling colloidal gold nanoparticles rationally and reversibly into macroscopic aggregates. The method involves attaching to the surfaces of two batches of 13-nm gold particles non-complementary DNA oligonucleotides capped with thiol groups, which bind to gold. When we add to the solution an oligonucleotide duplex with 'sticky ends' that are complementary to the two grafted sequences, the nanoparticles self-assemble into aggregates. This assembly process can be reversed by thermal denaturation. This strategy should now make it possible to tailor the optical, electronic and structural properties of the colloidal aggregates by using the specificity of DNA interactions to direct the interactions between particles of different size and composition.
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              Combination of 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes with flow cytometry for analyzing mixed microbial populations.

              Fluorescent oligonucleotide hybridization probes were used to label bacterial cells for analysis by flow cytometry. The probes, complementary to short sequence elements within the 16S rRNA common to phylogenetically coherent assemblages of microorganisms, were labeled with tetramethylrhodamine and hybridized to suspensions of fixed cells. Flow cytometry was used to resolve individual target and nontarget bacteria (1 to 5 microns) via probe-conferred fluorescence. Target cells were quantified in an excess of nontarget cells. The intensity of fluorescence was increased additively by the combined use of two or three fluorescent probes complementary to different regions of the same 16S rRNA.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Sensors (Basel)
                Sensors (Basel)
                sensors
                Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
                MDPI
                1424-8220
                22 May 2017
                May 2017
                : 17
                : 5
                sensors-17-01184
                10.3390/s17051184
                5470929
                28531156
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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