News Column

New Findings from University of Hong Kong Describe Advances in Bacteria

May 30, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- Data detailed on Bacteria have been presented. According to news reporting out of Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, "Propidium monoazide (PMA) has been used to determine viable microorganisms for clinical and environmental samples since selected naked DNA which was covalently cross-linked by this dye could not be PCR-amplified. In this study, we applied PMA to the activated sludge samples composed of complex bacterial populations to investigate the viability of human fecal bacteria and to determine the heat-tolerant bacteria by high-throughput sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) V3 region."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Hong Kong, "The methodological evaluation suggested the validity, and about 2-3 magnitude signals decreasing from the stained DNA were observed. However, the nest PCR, which was previously conducted to further minimize signals from dead cells, seemed not suitable perhaps due to the limitation of the primers. On one hand, for typical human fecal bacteria, less than half of them were viable, and most genera exhibited the similar viable percentages. It was interesting that many 'unclassified bacteria' showed low viability, implying their sensitivity to environmental change. On the other hand, after heating at 60 A degrees C for 4 h, the bacteria with high survival rate in activated sludge samples included those reported thermophiles or heat-tolerant lineages, such as Anoxybacillus and diverse species in Actinobacteria, and some novel ones, such as Gp16 subdivision in Acidobacteria."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "In summary, our results took a glance at the fate of fecal bacteria during sewage treatment and established an example for identifying tolerant species to lethal shocks in a complex community."

For more information on this research see: Detecting the Nonviable and Heat-Tolerant Bacteria in Activated Sludge by Minimizing DNA from Dead Cells. Microbial Ecology, 2014;67(4):829-836. Microbial Ecology can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. (Springer -; Microbial Ecology -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting F. Guo, University of Hong Kong, Dept. of Civil Engn, Environm Biotechnol Lab, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Bacteria, Hong Kong, DNA Research, People's Republic of China

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Source: Ecology, Environment & Conservation

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