Microcheck 103

A microorganism can be identified by using a probe or PCR to detect a nucleotide sequence that is unique to that particular organism. Ribosomal RNA genes can be sequenced to identify an organism that cannot be grown in culture.

■ When using a probe to identify an organism, why is it necessary to have some idea as to the organism's identity?

■ How can ribosomal DNA be used to identify bacteria that cannot be grown in culture?

■ Why are molecular methods especially useful when bacteria are difficult to cultivate?

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