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:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- First quarter 2016:   , Revenues ... first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% ... and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per ... from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook ... 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial ... Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more ... the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the development of novel compounds designed to target ... compound, napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation ... in the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal ... cancer stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 ... evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal ... sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. ... whole genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put ...
Breaking Biology Technology: