Microchem’s microbial genetic sequencing accurately identifies an organism with the help of phylogenetics.

The Science Behind Phylogeny: Bacteria in petri dish

Phylogeny is the method of understanding evolutionary relationships by comparing genetic information of organisms. Phylogenetic trees help pinpoint species of similar descent, where each branch resembles a change in physical or genetic variance. By comparing a multitude of known genetic species, our lab identifies organisms with MicroSEQ ID: a database that utilizes a phylogenetic tree to display isolate reports. 

The common genetic marker sequenced for bacterial identification is the 16S rRNA gene. When molecularly isolating bacteria, this gene is used for a multitude of reasons. One of those reasons is the gene's presence in almost all bacterium and while still maintaining the same function. Scientists view the evolutionary history of this gene as a sort of timestamp. When there are variants within the gene sequence, they resemble different bacterial lineages. Although the function of the gene has had no significant evolutionary change over time, the 16S rRNA gene sequence still has great variability and uniqueness among different organisms, making a microbe's identity easily known when comparing the isolate's DNA to a large database. The 16S rRNA gene is also highly conserved, allowing universal primers to pair and sequence the gene both forward and backward. A highly conserved gene maximizes the number of nucleotides read during sequencing. The unique molecular structure the 16s rRNA gene encompasses makes for exemplary DNA analysis when conducting a phylogenetic tree for bacteria. Having similar attributes, scientists analyze the D2 large-subunit rDNA region for identifying fungal contaminants.

Phylogeny and MicroSEQ ID:

Often referred to as the gold standard of microbial identification, Microchem takes a molecular approach to identify contamination points. Our lab locates and amplifies the 16S rRNA gene for bacterial samples and the LSU D2 region for fungi to compare phylogenetic relationships among organisms. As the final step in our microbial identification process, MicroSEQ ID comparatively analyzes the DNA sequence results to a database of over 20,000 validated species. Having a large collection of genetically known taxa makes finding the microbial's identity seamless. The isolate's genetic sequence is ranked in similarity to a database of known organisms and displays the results on a phylogenetic tree. The phylogenetic tree allows our lab to report, with confidence, the correct identity of your isolate.

Phylogenetic Tree

 

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