What are soil microbiomes?
Biome is a scientific term used to refer to an ecosystem consisting of flora and fauna. Microbiome refers to an ecosystem that is invisible to the naked eye. This ecosystem comprises different species of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses. These organisms might be tiny, but they play a vital role in maintaining the stability of the environment.
Microbiomes are present in animals, plants, soils, oceans, and even humans. The human microbiome consists of tons of microbes subdivided into sections depending on their location. Microbiome systems in the soil play significant roles in the overall health of primary producers at the base of the global ecosystem.
What is the Microbiome Core Facility?
The Microbiome Core Facility is a resource center aiming to enhance interactions with genomic and computational biology. These resources are shared by institutions to address the critical roles played by microbial systems in sectors such as environmental restoration, food production, and human healthcare.
Additionally, this resource provides access to various services to help researchers focus on microbial communities. The Microbiome Core Facility provides top-notch quality sequencing technologies to several institutions for microbiome studies.
The Microbiome Core Facility sequencing services include:
- Protocol design and optimization
- Assay preparation
- Sample aliquoting and storage
- DNA extraction services
- Microbiome sequencing services
- Swift turnaround for 16S sequencing
- Library preparation and deep sequencing of V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene
- Computational investigation of 16S rRNA gene sequencing
- Shotgun metagenomic sequencing
- Consultation of outpatient collection kits
Why is sequencing important?
The soil microbiome is one of the most intricate systems, containing a high degree of metabolic heterogeneity and genetic diversity. The metabolic activities of these microorganisms are vital to some natural processes with major ecological significance.
The soil microbiome has several species that are yet to be cultured, which makes it hard to determine which microbes play which roles. Through high-throughput sequencing, there has been a significant advancement in understanding microbial communities in terms of structure and functionality.
Several new services have been added to the current list of microbiome analysis services to provide active and viable strains for related studies.
The new services are:
- Microbial strain submission for safe preservation
- Microbial strain/consortium application
- Activation and making cultures of microbial strains