Quick post here. Just got alerted to this paper by automated searches from Pubchase: Construction of a dairy microbial genome catalog opens new perspect… – PubMed – NCBI. This paper provides a really good example of how researchers interested in microbial ecology of a particular system (in this case, dairies and cheese) can use culturing and genome sequencing of select taxa to then help inform microbial ecology studies of that system. It would be great to do this from more ecosystems, including, especially in my mind, built environments where we right now have only a limited number of reference genomes for cultured isolates. This is one of the reasons we started on “Built Environment Reference Genomes” project at microBEnet as an undergraduate research activity. Stay tuned for more information about this as we are also developing tools and methods and course materials to hopefully have anyone (and,well, everyone) do things like this. (For example see our Swabs to Genomes workflow preprint).