This review focuses on recent patents on the exploration and quantification of microbial diversity. Only the patents based on DNA analysis techniques are considered. In general terms, the analysis of environmental samples can be investigated by using three main approaches: microarrays based technologies, genomes/metagenomes comparison and amplification and detection of operative taxonomic units. All patents can relate to the estimation of the microbial diversity, however, many of them were initially designed to detect important medical or agronomic microorganisms. Here, we briefly review recent technological achievements for DNA analysis that offer great potentials for the identification of species.
Keywords: DNA microarray, metagenomic, microbial diversity, molecular detection, autonomous organisms, Genebank database, environmental samples, microbial species, DNA-Based Technologies, ecosystems, polymorphism, genomic material, fingerprinting, mapping biological macromolecules, biological polymers