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Accessing Uncultivated Microorganisms: From the Environment to Organisms and Genomes and Back

Editor: Karsten Zengler1
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Affiliations: 1: University of California—San Diego La Jolla, California
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Electronic
Publication Year: 2008

Category: Genomics and Bioinformatics; Environmental Microbiology

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Microbes are extremely diverse, yet only a tiny fraction of organisms present in any given environment can be cultivated in the laboratory. Evaluating microbial diversity and identifying individual organisms responsible for specific processes in the environment are fundamental and challenging tasks in microbial ecology and applied microbiology. This comprehensive, judicious, and useful volume provides a complete overview of methods and approaches to studying microbial diversity. While emphasizing new innovative methods, the book also addresses established methods and provides “hands on” advice on how to isolate, cultivate, and study organisms.

Depending on the scope of a study, there are many different ways to assess the diversity of bacteria, fungi, and protists. This volume examines the variety of these approaches-and their advantages and drawbacks. From direct measurements of physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the environment to a wide array of molecular tools such as metagenomic and metaproteomic approaches, this volume thoroughly covers the range of assessment possibilities. It also details innovative methods such as the use of genetic information from environmental samples, enrichment cultures, and single cells. Additionally, the book offers practical, essential advice on how to put these methods into practice both within and outside of the laboratory environment.

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