Andreas Walter, Ingrid Franke-Whittle
Nucleic acid microarrays, or oligonucleotide microchips, allow a high-throughput format for the parallel detection of 16S rRNA genes from an environmental sample. DNA microarrays offer the possibility to analyze an entire array of microorganisms, concerning their presence or absence in a particular environmental sample in a single experiment. The fact that parallel detection of numerous 16S rRNA genes is possible makes the microarray useful for environmental studies of phylogenetically diverse microbial groups. In the case of the compost and anaerobic digestion environments, microarray technology offers a tremendous potential for process monitoring, as well as the detection of pathogens and beneficial microbes.