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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8184160, 12 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of the Bacterial Diversity in the Human Tongue Coating Based on Genus-Specific Primers for 16S rRNA Sequencing

1State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
2Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science, Ministry of Education of China, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Zuhong Lu

Received 25 February 2017; Revised 20 June 2017; Accepted 20 July 2017; Published 20 August 2017

Academic Editor: Koichiro Wada

Copyright © 2017 Beili Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The characteristics of tongue coating are very important symbols for disease diagnosis in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory. As a habitat of oral microbiota, bacteria on the tongue dorsum have been proved to be the cause of many oral diseases. The high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms have been widely applied in the analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA gene. We developed a methodology based on genus-specific multiprimer amplification and ligation-based sequencing for microbiota analysis. In order to validate the efficiency of the approach, we thoroughly analyzed six tongue coating samples from lung cancer patients with different TCM types, and more than 600 genera of bacteria were detected by this platform. The results showed that ligation-based parallel sequencing combined with enzyme digestion and multiamplification could expand the effective length of sequencing reads and could be applied in the microbiota analysis.