HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Genomics throws species definition in question for microbes

Until a decade ago, scientists categorized microorganisms almost exclusively by their physical characteristics: how they looked, what they ate, and the by-products they produced. With the advent of genomic sequencing and genetic analysis in the 1990s, our understanding of the relationships between different microorganisms fundamentally changed. In light of this new knowledge, what exactly is the definition of a microbial species, and how should microbiologists be categorizing microorganisms? These questions are the focus of a new report released by the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) entitled Reconciling Microbial Systematics and Genomics.

"It is clear that the current system for designating microbial species is somewhat functional, but inadequate in many ways. It is unclear whether this system should be replaced or renovated," says Richard Roberts of New England Biolabs, one of the authors of the report.

The report is the result of a colloquium convened by the AAM in September 2006. Participants with expertise in microbial taxonomy, systematics, ecology, physiology and other areas described the history of microbial taxonomy, the state of the field today, and how work in the field should proceed in the future. The report is a record of their comments and recommendations.

In the late 1800s, in order to make sense of the vast diversity of microbiological organisms, microbial taxonomists developed a system of placing microorganisms into categories in which each organism was granted a "genus" and "species" designation. At the time, physical (or phenotypic) properties were the only means of describing microorganisms, so the system was based on measurable and observable characteristics of the organisms, not genetic traits.

In the late 20th century, molecular biology uncovered the genetic relationships between microorganisms, and some of the secrets of microbes that had yet to be cultured in the lab (and hence
'"/>

Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
26-Mar-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Genomics study provides insight into the evolution of unique human traits
2. Psychiatric Genomics Center established at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
3. NYUs Center for Comparative Functional Genomics part of $57 million MOD-ENCODE consortium
4. Elsevier launches new journal, Marine Genomics
5. International Genomics Consortium, TGen to lead Biospecimen Core for Cancer Atlas pilot project
6. DOE JGI to host Microbial Genomics Workshop for educators
7. Genomics-based vaccine could prevent deadly cattle disease
8. Genomics reveals mechanism of heat resistance in bacteria
9. NYUs Center for Comparative Functional Genomics helps to unravel the function of microRNAS
10. Genomics champion Eric Lander receives 2004 AAAS Public Understanding of Science & Technology Award
11. International Rice Functional Genomics meeting in Tucson Nov. 15-17

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Genomics throws species definition question for microbes

(Date:4/16/2014)... museum collections two new species of yellow-shouldered bats have been unearthed ... Field Museum of Natural History and described in the open access ... the genus Sturnira are part of a recent discovery ... third one still waiting to be officially announced. , Up until ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... Centre INRSInstitut Armand-Frappier has just received a research grant from ... nearly US$600,000. The 5-year grant is to pursue cutting-edge research ... explore their biomedical potential in the field of oncology as ... a grant at this level is an accomplishment in itself," ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... Arkin, director of the Physical Biosciences Division of Lawrence ... is recognized as a leading authority on the evolutionary ... application to systems and synthetic biology, has been named ... Lawrence Award by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Two new species of yellow-shouldered bats endemic to the Neotropics 2High-level NIH grant goes to professor Nicolas Doucet of INRS 2Berkeley Lab's Adam Arkin wins 2013 Lawrence Award 2Berkeley Lab's Adam Arkin wins 2013 Lawrence Award 3
(Date:1/14/2014)... MA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 iLab Solutions, ... Detwiler as the new Director of Product Strategy. In this ... well as iLab sub-teams to guide in the development of ... iLab provides the maximum possible benefit to the scientific community ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... WESTBOROUGH, Mass. , Jan. 14, 2014  RXi ... on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies addressing ... announced that it received the Notice of Allowance ... on its unique self-delivering RNAi compounds (sd-rxRNA®), for ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... , Jan. 14, 2014   Kinaxis ®, provider of ... and sales and operations planning ( S&OP ) service, is ... Summit , which will be held at the Hilton San ... join Kinaxis customer Elisabeth Kaszas , Director of Supply ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Kerr Corporation, a leading manufacturer of innovative ... information about dual arch impressions on its dental blog. ... the blog entry serves up a list of tips to ... demonstration by Dr. David Little as he crafts a porcelain ...
Breaking Biology Technology:iLab Solutions Announces Michelle Detwiler as the New Director of Product Strategy 2RXi Pharmaceuticals Receives US Notice of Allowance for a Key Patent Relating to its Self-Delivering Technology with sd-rxRNAs targeting CTGF, including RXI-109, for the Treatment of Fibrotic Disorders 2RXi Pharmaceuticals Receives US Notice of Allowance for a Key Patent Relating to its Self-Delivering Technology with sd-rxRNAs targeting CTGF, including RXI-109, for the Treatment of Fibrotic Disorders 3Event Alert: Kinaxis Customer to Present at the Biomanufacturing Summit "Supply Chain: Improving Network Effectiveness" 2
Cached News: