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Uncovered: 1000 New Microbial Genomes

JUNE 12, 2017 Joint Genome Institute
The number of microbes in a handful of soil exceeds the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, but researchers know less about what’s on Earth because they have only recently had the tools to deeply explore what is just underfoot. Now scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, have taken a decisive step forward in uncovering the planet’s microbial diversity. In a paper published June 12, 2017 in Nature Biotechnology, DOE JGI’s Prokaryotic Super Program head Nikos Kyrpides and his team of researchers report the release of 1,003 phylogenetically diverse bacterial and archaeal reference genomes—the single largest release to date.

With the release of high quality genomic information from the 1,003 reference genomes, DOE JGI is providing a wealth of new sequences that will be invaluable to scientists interested in experiments such as characterizing biotechnologically relevant secondary metabolites or studying enzymes that work under specific conditions, Seshadri said. And because Kyrpides’ research team sequenced type strains that are readily available from culture collections, scientists can perform follow-up experiments with them in the lab, she added.

Source: Joint Genome Institute


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