How biomass can bias high-throughput surveys of microbial communities

Puffballs are a type of fungus that is aptly named. You can ‘puff’ their ball-shaped fruiting bodies, and so many spores come out (a large one can contain 7 million), they make a visible cloud. This ostentatious and satisfying practice makes puffballs a popular choice for novice mushroom hunters tasked with bringing in specimens for …

Another reference genome for microbiology of the built environment studies: Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens

Another genome report from our microBEnet project on generating reference genomes for microbes from the built environment is out: Draft Genome Sequence of Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens Strain UCD-AKU (Phylum Actinobacteria). From the paper: Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens strain UCD-AKU was isolated from a residential carpet in Davis, California, as part of a project to produce reference genomes for microorganisms …

Woohoo – two more genome announcement papers from our undergraduate project on built environment reference genomes

Two new papers out from the microBEnet Undergraduate Research: Built Environment Reference Genomes  project: Coil DA, Doctor JI, Lang JM, Darling AE, Eisen JA. 2013. Draft Genome Sequence of Kocuria sp. Strain UCD-OTCP (Phylum Actinobacteria). Genome Announc. 1(3):e00172-13. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00172-13. Diep AL, Lang JM, Darling AE, Eisen JA, Coil DA. 2013. Draft genome sequence of Dietzia sp. strain UCD-THP (phylum …

Announcing Project MERCCURI (a.k.a Microbes in Spaaaaace!)

(cross-posted from our static page on the project which will be updated as we move forward) Project MERCCURI is a collaboration of microBEnet with the Science Cheerleaders, Nanoracks, NASA, and SciStarter.com. There are three components to the project: 1) Collecting microbial swab samples from the International Space Station (ISS) and examining the microbial communities therein …

microBEnet documentary video of our first undergraduate research project

I haven’t talked a lot about this here, but in addition to the microBEnet website and conference organization we have been running a couple of undergraduate research projects related to the microbiology of the built environment. The first was a project started in January where a team of undergraduates isolated organisms from the built environment …

New undergraduate research project in the built environment (aquariums) at UC Davis

Last year as part of microBEnet’s mandate to perform outreach associated with the microbiology of the built environment we sponsored and managed an undergraduate research project.   In this we isolated organisms from the built environment and then sequenced several reference genomes.  This work is currently being prepared in a series of genome announcement publications. (see …