Prospecting for novel lipase genes using PCR

Philip J. L. Bell, Anwar Sunna, Moreland D. Gibbs, Natalie C. Curach, Helena Nevalainen, Peter L. Bergquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


A PCR method suitable for the isolation of lipase genes directly from environmental DNA is described. The problems associated with the low levels of similarity between lipase genes were overcome by extensive analysis of conserved regions and careful primer design. Using this method, a lipase gene (oli-lipase) was isolated directly from environmental DNA. This lipase showed less than 20% similarity with other known lipases at the amino acid level. The study also revealed that distantly related members of the α/β hydrolase superfamily share similar conserved motifs with the lipases, thus making these genes targets for gene prospecting by PCR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2283-2291
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


  • thermophilic
  • triacylglycerol hydrolase
  • biomass
  • environment

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