Contemporary molecular tools in microbial ecology and their application to advancing biotechnology
KAUST DepartmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractNovel methods in microbial ecology are revolutionizing our understanding of the structure and function of microbes in the environment, but concomitant advances in applications of these tools to biotechnology are mostly lagging behind. After more than a century of efforts to improve microbial culturing techniques, about 70–80% of microbial diversity – recently called the “microbial dark matter” – remains uncultured. In early attempts to identify and sample these so far uncultured taxonomic lineages, methods that amplify and sequence ribosomal RNA genes were extensively used. Recent developments in cell separation techniques, DNA amplification, and high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms have now made the discovery of genes/genomes of uncultured microorganisms from different environments possible through the use of metagenomic techniques and single-cell genomics. When used synergistically, these metagenomic and single-cell techniques create a powerful tool to study microbial diversity. These genomics techniques have already been successfully exploited to identify sources for i) novel enzymes or natural products for biotechnology applications, ii) novel genes from extremophiles, and iii) whole genomes or operons from uncultured microbes. More can be done to utilize these tools more efficiently in biotechnology.
CitationContemporary molecular tools in microbial ecology and their application to advancing biotechnology 2015 Biotechnology Advances
- Marine Metagenome as A Resource for Novel Enzymes.
- Authors: Alma'abadi AD, Gojobori T, Mineta K
- Issue date: 2015 Oct
- Marine metagenomics: new tools for the study and exploitation of marine microbial metabolism.
- Authors: Kennedy J, Flemer B, Jackson SA, Lejon DP, Morrissey JP, O'Gara F, Dobson AD
- Issue date: 2010 Mar 15
- [Metagenomics as a Tool for the Investigation of Uncultured Microorganisms].
- Authors: Ravin NV, Mardanova AV, Skryabin KG
- Issue date: 2015 May
- Exploring microbial diversity for biotechnology: the way forward.
- Authors: Singh BK
- Issue date: 2010 Mar
- Metagenomics, biotechnology with non-culturable microbes.
- Authors: Schmeisser C, Steele H, Streit WR
- Issue date: 2007 Jul