Is there life? And what is is that grows? it is not always easy to determine the content of a sample – is it chemistry or biology – when the sample is complicated by dirty liquids, particles, fibres and chemical substances. If life is detected – is it bacteria, mould or algae or other types of particles and fibres that you observe? Often a morphological examination of the sample and possibly cultivation is enough to state biological growth. To confirm with higher certainty, genetic methods like qPCR are used.
qPCR (quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction) and PCR became familiar for the public during the pandemic, when the covid virus was detected with this method. In a PCR run, you basically need extracted DNA from your sample or cultivation, small pieces of DNA (primers) of a specific organisms´ DNA, buffer and enzyme to detect occurrence and type of life. The DNA you are looking for is copied in a number of cycles with specified time and temperature. The more DNA a sample contains, the higher the signal in the instrument. With a qPCR machine you can in addition quantify the amount of the organism DNA and you can see directly if a sample is positive or not.
Industridoktorn can help you to answer whether and what is growing in your sample. We confirm which type of organism group (algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, bacteria, procaryotes/eucaryotes) that causes trouble in contaminated samples. We can also detect specific types of unwanted microbes in your application.
Of you have a completely unknown sample and don´t know what you are looking for, we can help you with microscopy and sample preparation for genetical species determination using gene sequencing. We then interpret the results to come up with a solution that helps you prevent similar contaminations in an environmentally friendly way. Contact Susanne Ekendahl when you have such questions.
And read more about our qPCR robot Erdna here! https://industridoktorn.se/en/erdna-robot-for-surveillance-of-pathogens/