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:10/4/2017)... 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical research organization (CRO), announces ... solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is designed to assist medical ... policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in meeting the ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... RAM Group , Singaporean based ... in biometric authentication based on a novel  ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on ... Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will have ... and security. Ram Group is a next generation ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Iowa (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... based in Vilnius, Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a multiyear ... is to provide CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across all ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Andi Purple announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research ... Inc. has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider ... nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch ... for communication among health care professionals to enhance the patient ... office staff, and other health care professionals to help women ... cancer. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled a ... new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new markets ... It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: