Initial Publication Date: December 8, 2006

Molecular Finger Printing

Created by George Rice, Montana State University

Overview:(How to Study a Microbial Ecosystem)

Collect an environmental sample(learn more) - Collecting samples involves the isolation and careful gathering of specimens of interest in a given environmental study. Methodologies employed can be as involved and diverse as the studies themselves.
Extract chromosomal DNA (learn more) - Extraction of the genetic material from the organisms of interest is the first step in identifying them at the molecular level. 
PCR amplify 16S rRNA genes from the collective DNA (learn more) - "Sometimes called molecular photocopying, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a fast and inexpensive technique used to "amplify" - copy - small segments of DNA. Because significant amounts of a sample of DNA are necessary for molecular and genetic analyses, studies of isolated pieces of DNA are nearly impossible without PCR amplification" (from the National Human Genome Research Institute).
Clone and isolate individual copies of 16S rRNA genes -
Sequence copies of 16S rRNA genes -
Process and analyze the sequences -