Novel application of the MSSCP method in biodiversity studies

J Basic Microbiol. 2012 Feb;52(1):104-9. doi: 10.1002/jobm.201000117. Epub 2011 Jun 9.


Analysis of 16S rRNA sequence diversity is widely performed for characterizing the biodiversity of microbial samples. The number of determined sequences has a considerable impact on complete results. Although the cost of mass sequencing is decreasing, it is often still too high for individual projects. We applied the multi-temperature single-strand conformational polymorphism (MSSCP) method to decrease the number of analysed sequences. This was a novel application of this method. As a control, the same sample was analysed using random sequencing. In this paper, we adapted the MSSCP technique for screening of unique sequences of the 16S rRNA gene library and bacterial strains isolated from biofilms growing on the walls of an ancient gold mine in Poland and determined whether the results obtained by both methods differed and whether random sequencing could be replaced by MSSCP. Although it was biased towards the detection of rare sequences in the samples, the qualitative results of MSSCP were not different than those of random sequencing. Unambiguous discrimination of unique clones and strains creates an opportunity to effectively estimate the biodiversity of natural communities, especially in populations which are numerous but species poor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Biodiversity*
  • Biofilms*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Gene Library
  • Poland
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational*
  • RNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S