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      Use of Ichip for High-Throughput In Situ Cultivation of “Uncultivable” Microbial Species

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          One of the oldest unresolved microbiological phenomena is why only a small fraction of the diverse microbiological population grows on artificial media. The “uncultivable” microbial majority arguably represents our planet's largest unexplored pool of biological and chemical novelty. Previously we showed that species from this pool could be grown inside diffusion chambers incubated in situ, likely because diffusion provides microorganisms with their naturally occurring growth factors. Here we utilize this approach and develop a novel high-throughput platform for parallel cultivation and isolation of previously uncultivated microbial species from a variety of environments. We have designed and tested an isolation chip (ichip) composed of several hundred miniature diffusion chambers, each inoculated with a single environmental cell. We show that microbial recovery in the ichip exceeds manyfold that afforded by standard cultivation, and the grown species are of significant phylogenetic novelty. The new method allows access to a large and diverse array of previously inaccessible microorganisms and is well suited for both fundamental and applied research.

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          Most cited references 33

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          The use of DAPI for identifying and counting aquatic microflora1

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            Metagenomics: application of genomics to uncultured microorganisms.

             Jo Handelsman (2004)
            Metagenomics (also referred to as environmental and community genomics) is the genomic analysis of microorganisms by direct extraction and cloning of DNA from an assemblage of microorganisms. The development of metagenomics stemmed from the ineluctable evidence that as-yet-uncultured microorganisms represent the vast majority of organisms in most environments on earth. This evidence was derived from analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences amplified directly from the environment, an approach that avoided the bias imposed by culturing and led to the discovery of vast new lineages of microbial life. Although the portrait of the microbial world was revolutionized by analysis of 16S rRNA genes, such studies yielded only a phylogenetic description of community membership, providing little insight into the genetics, physiology, and biochemistry of the members. Metagenomics provides a second tier of technical innovation that facilitates study of the physiology and ecology of environmental microorganisms. Novel genes and gene products discovered through metagenomics include the first bacteriorhodopsin of bacterial origin; novel small molecules with antimicrobial activity; and new members of families of known proteins, such as an Na(+)(Li(+))/H(+) antiporter, RecA, DNA polymerase, and antibiotic resistance determinants. Reassembly of multiple genomes has provided insight into energy and nutrient cycling within the community, genome structure, gene function, population genetics and microheterogeneity, and lateral gene transfer among members of an uncultured community. The application of metagenomic sequence information will facilitate the design of better culturing strategies to link genomic analysis with pure culture studies.
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              Drugs for bad bugs: confronting the challenges of antibacterial discovery.

              The sequencing of the first complete bacterial genome in 1995 heralded a new era of hope for antibacterial drug discoverers, who now had the tools to search entire genomes for new antibacterial targets. Several companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, moved back into the antibacterials area and embraced a genomics-derived, target-based approach to screen for new classes of drugs with novel modes of action. Here, we share our experience of evaluating more than 300 genes and 70 high-throughput screening campaigns over a period of 7 years, and look at what we learned and how that has influenced GlaxoSmithKline's antibacterials strategy going forward.

                Author and article information

                Applied and Environmental Microbiology
                Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
                American Society for Microbiology
                April 15 2010
                April 15 2010
                February 19 2010
                February 19 2010
                : 76
                : 8
                : 2445-2450
                [1 ] Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
                [2 ] Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439
                [3 ] BioTrove, Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts 01801
                © 2010
                Self URI (article page): https://AEM.asm.org/content/76/8/2445


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