Expansion of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea

Article English OPEN
Rinke, Christian (2011)
  • Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
  • Subject: Life Sciences

To date the vast majority of bacterial and archaeal genomes sequenced are of rather limited phylogenetic diversity as they were chosen based on their physiology and/ or medical importance. The Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) project (Wu et al. 2009) is aimed to systematically filling the gaps of the tree of life with phylogenetically diverse reference genomes. However more than 99percent of microorganisms elude current culturing attempts, severely limiting the ability to recover complete or even partial genomes of these largely mysterious species. These limitations gave rise to the GEBA uncultured project. Here we propose to use single cell genomics to massively expand the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea by targeting 80 single cell representatives of uncultured candidate phyla which have no or very few cultured representatives. Generating these reference genomes of uncultured microbes will dramatically increase the discovery rate of novel protein families and biological functions, shed light on the numerous underrepresented phyla that likely play important roles in the environment, and will assist in improving the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of Bacteria and Archaea. Moreover, these data will improve our ability to interpret metagenomics sequence data from diverse environments, which will be of tremendous value for microbial ecology and evolutionary studies to come.
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