ent whale skeletons collected from the Pacific and Artic ocean depths separated by thousands of miles. The DNA was then sequenced and analyzed by the JGI. While different environments present different metabolic pictures, this research, Rubin said, facilitates a holistic perspective on environmental systems, something that many scientists will welcome.
"Environmental systems are extremely complex, harboring numerous diverse species coexisting in a single locale," said Rubin. "By focusing on the information encoded in the DNA fragments sequenced, independent of the organisms from which they derived, we were able to get around the problem of species diversity."
Very little is known about the microbes since the vast majority of them, some 99 percent, are resistant to being grown under standard laboratory conditions. The EGT strategy's particular utility is that it offers an easily accessible window into that important part of the biosphere with significant impact on the environment.
DOE JGI postdoctoral fellow Susannah Green Tringe was first author on the Science paper that, in addition to other DOE JGI scientists, included collaborators from Diversa Corporation, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.
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Contact: David E. Gilbert
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
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