"Carl Woese's grand view of life that just keeps getting grander"
Phil Hugenholtz (University of Queensland)
Most microorganisms cannot be grown in pure culture (or at least not easily). This has been apparent for decades by comparing the number of cells seen under a microscope to the fraction of those cells that will grow into colony forming units (typically <1%). The objective classification of cellular life by comparative rRNA analysis pioneered by Carl Woese provided the first grand view of the tree of life and also provided the reference framework upon which his friend and colleague, Norman Pace, developed ways to directly survey microbial communities via their rRNA sequences without the need to grow them. This put our degree of ignorance of the microbial world into perspective: dozens of major microbial lineages have emerged over the last 20 years that lack even a single cultured representative. New approaches, such as deep metagenomics and single cell genomics, are now transforming the rRNA-based phylogenetic outlines of the tree of life into a fully-fledged genome-based view of the tree. I will present a recent snapshot overview of the genome tree of the bacterial and archaeal domains and examples of functional insights in the context of a more complete view of microbial evolution.
|West Coast USA:||16:00 (04:00 PM) on Thursday, June 27|
|East Coast USA:||19:00 (07:00 PM) on Thursday, June 27|
|UK:||00:00 (12:00 AM) on Friday, June 28|
|France:||01:00 (01:00 AM) on Friday, June 28|
|Japan:||08:00 (08:00 AM) on Friday, June 28|
|New Zealand:||11:00 (11:00 AM) on Friday, June 28|