Our aim is to obtain genomes from new bacterial and archaeal taxa with no sequenced representatives and providing direct link information between cell's phylogenetic and metabolic markers by matching phylogeny and function. We would like to unravel novel metabolisms, ecophysiology and mechanisms of energy conservation among uncultured microorganisms, which were intractable before. In addition, we are investigating minimal genome requirements and syntrophic interactions as well as probing genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity among cells, cell-to-cell variations, horizontal gene transfer and evolutionary pressure.
We have already many rare and unique samples stored that will enable us to study fundamental aspects of microbial biology, which have so far escaped traditional approaches and we will collect many more on field trips. Our researches focuses at the moment on
- analyzing communities of previously untraceable methano- and mythylotrophs from forest soils and wetlands that are important for biogeochemical cycles, especially the methane cycle
- answering biological questions about life within the anaerobic and oligotrophic environments of the marine subsurface, which is one of the largest unexplored biospheres on Earth
- revealing novel natural product producers from algae biofilms of kelp forests
- discovering novel bioremediating bacteria in highly anthropogenic contaminated soils from industrial sites in India