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Chapter 39 : Accessing Microbial Communities Relevant to Biofuels Production
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Using 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA as the most commonly used molecules to classify Bacteria and Eucarya, the ability to digest cellulose is widely distributed. With very few exceptions, anaerobes degrade cellulose primarily via complexed cellulose systems, while aerobic cellulose degraders utilize cellulose through the production of substantial amounts of extracellular cellulases secreted into the culture supernatant, leading to two primary strategies for crystalline cellulose utilization. To further explore the diversity of novel cellulose-degrading microorganisms, novel cultivation methods need to be explored. Cell separation technologies use optical instrumentation to visualize the specific microorganisms in conjunction with cell manipulation methods. Cell manipulation is dominated by two principal methods: laser manipulation and mechanical manipulation. The traditional cultivation methods, based on plating of mixed populations of microorganisms on solidified medium such as agar, are selective and biased toward growth of specific microorganisms. Methods to extract DNA from soils and sediments are generally classified as direct or indirect extractions. Any standard DNA hybridization probe approach will cover only a very small percentage of the potential within a typical metagenomic library. Numerous studies offering comparisons of metagenomes and functional insights into microbial communities have been published and will continue to be invaluable.
Bacterial cloning systems