African Journal of Biotechnology
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Article Number - D0EE3FE30501

Vol.12(41), pp. 5975-5982 , October 2013
DOI: 10.5897/AJB2013.12057
ISSN: 1684-5315


Bacterial species identification getting easier

Phumudzo Tshikhudo, Ronald Nnzeru*, Khayalethu Ntushelo and Fhatuwani Mudau

University of South Africa, Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, Private Bag X6, Florida, 1710, South Africa.


 Accepted: 23 September 2013  Published: 31 October 2013

Copyright © 2013 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


The traditional methods of bacterial identification are based on observation of either the morphology of single cells or colony characteristics. However, the adoption of newer and automated methods offers advantage in terms of rapid and reliable identification of bacterial species. The review provides a comprehensive appreciation of new and improved technologies such fatty acid profiling, sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI‑TOF), metabolic finger profiling using BIOLOG, ribotyping, together with the computational tools employed for querying the databases that are associated with these identification tools and high-throughput genomic sequencing in bacterial identification. It is evident that with the increase in the adoption of new technologies bacterial identification is becoming easier.


Key words: Bacteria, Biolog, computational tools, fatty acids, Gram staining, identification, metagenomics, morphology, MALDI-TOF MS, RiboPrinter, 16S rRNA gene.


MALDI-TOF MS, Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry; TFA, trifluoroacetic acid; SEM, scanning electron microscopy; ISH, in situ hybridizationGC, gas chromatographyCFA, cellular fatty acid; FAME, fatty acid methyl ester analysis; PCR, polymerase chain reaction;RFLPs, restriction fragment length polymorphismsHTS, high-throughput sequencing.

APA (2013). Bacterial species identification getting easier. African Journal of Biotechnology , 12(41), 5975-5982.
Chicago Phumudzo Tshikhudo, Ronald Nnzeru, Khayalethu Ntushelo and Fhatuwani Mudau. "Bacterial species identification getting easier." African Journal of Biotechnology 12, no. 41 (2013): 5975-5982.
MLA Phumudzo Tshikhudo, et al. "Bacterial species identification getting easier." African Journal of Biotechnology 12.41 (2013): 5975-5982.
DOI 10.5897/AJB2013.12057

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