Navigation Links
Network to study environmental microbes
Date:11/6/2013

They're tiny, everywhere and vital to the environment, but biologists have largely overlooked the worms, fungi and single-celled animals found in every environment on Earth. A new research coordination network based at the University of California, Davis and the University of New Hampshire aims to correct that, applying new genome sequencing technology to study these organisms.

The Research Coordination Network on eukaryotic biodiversity is funded by a five-year grant of $500,000 from the National Science Foundation.

"I call them the 'dark matter' of biology," said Holly Bik, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis and co-principal investigator on the project with Professor W. Kelley Thomas at the University of New Hampshire. "They are in every single environment, but no one looks at them."

The microscopic eukaryotes fall between two other groups that are much better studied: Animals, plants and fungi visible to the naked eye, and the prokaryotes (mostly bacteria). They include microscopic worms (nematodes), some fungi and single-celled animals (protozoa).

These organisms play a vital role in ecosystems, Bik said, for example by breaking down organic matter and turning over soil nutrients.

Traditionally, they have been studied based on their appearance under the microscope. Now, new high-throughput DNA sequencing technology makes it possible to identify and classify these organisms much more quickly and comprehensively.

Just as medical researchers have begun to realize that the community of microbes on and inside our bodies influences health, biologists have also begun to pay attention to how a flourishing community of microorganisms affects the environment, Bik said.

The goal of the network is to bring together researchers from different fields: taxonomists expert in identifying organisms; ecologists who study these ecosystems; genome scientists and computational biologists who can figure out how to analyze sequence data from these relatively complex animals.

The team aims to organize an annual "catalysis" meeting to bring researchers together, Bik said. They will also sponsor symposia at other scientific meetings.

Working with other colleges including historically black colleges and universities, the network will develop undergraduate training programs on taxonomy and genomics, based at UNH.

"If we want the field to move forward we need to train the next generation of scientists," Bik said.

The network will also establish a strong web and social media presence to share information, both between experts, with students and the public.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Unraveling biological networks
2. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
3. Building the European Unions Natura 2000 -- the largest ever network of protected areas
4. Activity in brain networks related to features of depression
5. Minneapolis Heart Institute selected to participate in Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network
6. A network of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe
7. Scientists tie DNA repair to key cell signaling network
8. Manipulation of a specific neural circuit buried in complicated brain networks in primates
9. UC Berkeley chemists installing first carbon dioxide sensor network in Oakland
10. Penn researchers improve living tissues with 3-D printed vascular networks made from sugar
11. Service Credit Union Selects DigitalPersona to Secure Access to Network and Applications
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Network to study environmental microbes
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions , ... law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of retired ... of public safety business development. Mr. Sheridan ... experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation sector, ... recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare announces ... spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, real-time ... in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, Digital ... mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower people ... that intent focus, PMD developed the first ever personal ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against ... (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... -- Infectex Ltd., a Russian portfolio company of Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund ... to the standard drug therapy regimen in patients with multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis (MDR-TB). SQ109 ... USA ) and the US National Institutes of Health. ... ... ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 The new ... a comprehensive library of reports on Valero Energy , ... fuels and petrochemical industries. ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO) ... production to go green. Ethanol today, even though touted as ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... DIEGO , March 27, 2017  Trovagene, Inc. ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Bill Welch , ... April 4, 2017 at 9:00 AM EDT at the ... .  Bill Welch, and Chief Scientific Officer, Mark ... with investors during the conference.   The presentation ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... MARIETTA, Ga. , March 24, 2017 ... and biopharmaceutical company utilizing human placental tissue allografts and ... therapies for multiple sectors of healthcare, announced today  that ... New York , NY.  Parker H. ... , Chief Financial Officer, Christopher M. Cashman , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: