报告题目：Genome individuality offers a new window into microbial ecology and evolution
报 ?告 人：Dr. Ramunas Stepanauskas
Director of the Bigelow Laboratory Single Cell Genomics Center
Senior Research Scientist
Stepanauskas’ research group studies biogeochemical roles, trophic interactions, evolutionary histories and biotechnological potential of microorganisms inhabiting oceans, deep subsurface, and other environments. Unicellular, microscopic bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes constitute the oldest, the most abundant, and the most diverse forms of life on our planet. Remarkably, this fundamental insight is fairly new to science, and was enabled by technological advances in culture-independent, molecular research tools. However, microbial diversity remains severely underexplored and poorly defined, due to its sheer vastness, fundamental biology differences from the better-studied multicellular organisms, technical limitations of commonly used techniques, and paucity of unifying concepts that are based on adequate field data. For example, many microbial ecology studies rely on surveys of the SSU rRNA genes, although biological features and evolutionary histories of most microorganisms carrying these genes remain completely unknown. To overcome these challenges, my colleagues and I developed robust methods and high-throughput infrastructure for microbial single cell genomics, which uncovers hereditary information at the most basic level of biological organization and provides genomic blueprints of the vast “microbial dark matter”. This novel technology, in combination with other research tools, is transforming a broad spectrum of microbial study areas.