Bridging the Gap

Event Date: 
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 16:15 - 16:45
Institution: 
California Institute of Technology
Title: 

Bridging the gap between ‘omics generated hypotheses and metabolic function of microorganisms in the environment.

Abstract: 

Rapid advancements in environmental ‘omics approaches (e.g. metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) have provided a fresh perspective on the metabolic potential of uncultured microorganisms in nature.  However, our ability to directly test hypotheses regarding the ecophysiology of microorganisms in their natural environment remains a challenge.  New applications of whole cell fluorescence microscopy, stable isotope tracers and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-nanoSIMS), provide direct cell-specific isotopic, elemental and phylogenetic information on the metabolic roles of environmental microorganisms and microbial associations.   This presentation will introduce the FISH-nanoSIMS method and highlight its utility for the field of microbial ecology through a case study of uncultured methane-consuming archaeal-bacterial symbioses in deep-sea sediments.

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