Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Advancing new tools to fill in the microbial tree of life

In a perspective piece published in the journal Science, Eddy Rubin, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, along with Microbial Program Head Tanja Woyke, discusses why the time is right to apply genomic technologies to discover new life on Earth. In this perspective they propose the division of microbial life on Earth into three categories: explored, unexplored, and undiscovered. The first can be grown in the laboratory. The second encompasses the uncultivated organisms from environmental samples known only by their molecular signatures. The third, the focus of the perspective, is the yet-undiscovered life that up until now has eluded detection.

For details see:

T. Woyke, E. M. Rubin. Searching for new branches on the tree of life. Science, 2014; 346 (6210): 698 DOI: 10.1126/science.1258871

Posted by Tim Sandle