Simultaneous digital quantification and fluorescence-based size characterization of massively parallel sequencing libraries.
ABSTRACT Due to the high cost of failed runs and suboptimal data yields, quantification and determination of fragment size range are crucial steps in the library preparation process for massively parallel sequencing (or next-generation sequencing). Current library quality control methods commonly involve quantification using real-time quantitative PCR and size determination using gel or capillary electrophoresis. These methods are laborious and subject to a number of significant limitations that can make library calibration unreliable. Herein, we propose and test an alternative method for quality control of sequencing libraries using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). By exploiting a correlation we have discovered between droplet fluorescence and amplicon size, we achieve the joint quantification and size determination of target DNA with a single ddPCR assay. We demonstrate the accuracy and precision of applying this method to the preparation of sequencing libraries.
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ABSTRACT: Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) is a new DNA quantification platform without an external DNA calibrator. This study examined methanogen communities in four full-scale anaerobic digesters treating municipal sewage sludge, using ddPCR with taxon-specific primer/TaqMan probe sets (5 orders, 11 families, and 13 genera), many of which were developed in this study. Total methanogen abundance was positively correlated with hydraulic retention time (HRT) and temperature (p < 0.05), though the effect of HRT was stronger (r = 0.864 vs. 0.682, respectively). Moreover, total abundance was strongly correlated with biogas production rate (r = 0.896). HRT was positively correlated with seven methanogenic taxa, while temperature was positively or negatively correlated with 13 taxa (p < 0.05). For instance, the predominant genera Methanosaeta and Methanosarcina were negatively and positively associated, respectively, with temperature only (p < 0.05). Redundancy analysis and principal component analysis using the absolute-abundance dataset indicated that only temperature explained the variability in the methanogen communities at all classification levels. Therefore, HRT was the most important operational factor to influence net methanogen abundance and activity, while temperature governed the composition of the methanogen community. ddPCR enabled absolute quantification of methanogens without the external DNA standards and linked methanogen communities and operational factors, suggesting that it is a promising tool for analyzing the microbial ecology of anaerobic digestion.Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 08/2014;