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Meetings - Paper

125-1 Biology's Grandest Frontier: Soil Metagenomics.

2012-10-22: 8:05 AM
Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 204, Level 2

Presenting Author: James Tiedje, Michigan State University

Metagenomics has become a new means to understand microbial communities from the gene and gene product levels. Soil houses the most diverse microbial communities resulting from its ancient history; complex sets of interrelating gradients; and protective, isolating, stable and relatively resource poor environment. Because of the tremendous advances in DNA sequencing technologies, we now see incredibly diverse populations and sets of genes in soil communities. These genes and their host microbes catalyze vital functions such as nutrient cycling, organic matter decomposition, greenhouse gas flux, restoring water quality, and with some promoting plant health and others disease.  While the new molecular and omic technologies provide the chance to understand and eventually better manage some of these communities, the analysis of the massive amount of sequence data is today’s challenge.  I will discuss components that underpin the gene-based understanding of soil communities and different approaches to extract meaning from this massive data including both targeting ecofunctional genes as well as tackling assembly.

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