Microorganisms play key roles in regulating global nutrient cycles but only a small fraction has been identified and an even smaller number has been successfully cultured in a lab for study. In Nature Biotechnology, the known diversity of bacteria and archaea has now expanded by 44% through a publicly available collection of more than 52,000 microbial genomes from environmental samples. Of that number, 70% of the novel genome sequences were previously unknown, not yet cultured in the lab. The work results from a JGI-led collaboration involving more than 200 scientists around the world, KBase and NERSC. Read more about the genomic catalog of Earth’s microbiomes on the JGI website.
Previous work on microbial mats had primarily relied on culturing virus and host pairs in the laboratory to study their interactions. In The ISME Journal, a team co-led by JGI postdoctoral researcher Mária Džunková used single-cell sequencing to sequence both a cell’s genome and detect accompanying viral sequences, which would suggest the virus had been infecting the cell. Read the full story on the JGI website.