chapter  8
27 Pages

Applications of nucleic acid hybridization in microbial ecology

ByA. Mark Osborn, Vivien Prior, Konstantinos Damianakis

Nucleic acid hybridization can be defined as the complementary base pairing between two nucleotide strands mediated by Watson-Crick hydrogen bond formation between individual nucleotides. As such, hybridization is central to biology, and is responsible for genomic rearrangements via both homologous and site-specific recombination. Nucleic acid hybridization is also central to molecular biology, both in its direct application as a tool to detect specific DNA sequences (1), and also as an integral process during the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing during the hybridization (annealing) of oligonucleotide primers to complementary single-stranded DNA templates.