The revolution in DNA sequencing has enabled Section of Microbiology to implement the state of the art genomic sequencing in locally hosted facilities for research into metagenomics transcriptomics and synthetic biology:
- Synthetic biology
Today, many traditional microbial research techniques have been turbocharged by next generation sequencing and synthetic biology. In the genomics group we apply different sequencing strategies to answer complex microbiological questions. 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing illuminates the microbial diversity of extremely complex microbial communities where each experiment can yield information on millions of individual 16S rDNA sequences, thereby thoroughly describing natural communities. Whole genome sequencing and assembly can inexpensively derive the behavior of individual plasmids, bacteriophages and bacterial species. In our in-house sequencing facility we dispose of both Illumina HiSeq2000 and ROCHE GS FLX (454) sequencing technologies. We have recently sequenced > 100 million 16S rDNA sequences and assembled more than 50 plasmids, 40 phage genomes, 50 bacterial genomes and several metagenomes repeatedly revealing chromosomes and genes encoding completely new traits.
Modern high-throughput sequencing technologies have also made metagenomics and transcriptomics possible by the large amount of sequences generated.
Metagenomics is bulk sequencing from an environment to find out what organisms and genes are abundant in that environment. This is the most effective method for studying the function of the organisms in an environment.
Transcriptomics , on the other hand, is bulk sequencing of mRNA and is used to unravel what genes are expressed. Both methods are novel and in rapid development both in terms of sequencing technology and in the field of bioinformatics.
Synthetic biology . As an extension to the new sequencing technologies, the genomics group has started using synthetic biology, to create biology from bits and bytes. Accordingly we have recently (2011) published the rational design and synthesis of a large conjugative plasmid.