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Genomic Science Program

Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment

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Genomic Science Program

Genomes to Life Contractor-Grantee Workshop I
Arlington, Virginia, February 9-12, 2003

Workshop Breakout Session

Environmental Genomics


  • Derek Lovley, University of Massachusetts
  • Barbara Meth, The Institute for Genomic Research

The availability of complete genome sequences for pure cultures of environmentally relevant microorganisms is greatly enhancing the understanding of microbial processes in a diversity of environments. However, there are many microorganisms of environmental significance which have yet to be recovered in pure culture. An alternative strategy to evaluate the genetic potential of these environmentally significant, as-yet-uncultured microorganisms is to sequence genomic DNA extracted directly from the environment. Initial environmental genomic studies have demonstrated that novel insights into the metabolic function of natural microbial communities may be derived from sequencing environmental genomic DNA. However, there are significant challenges in analyzing and interpreting environmental genomic sequence data which must be solved in order to apply the environmental genomic approach to whole-community analysis. This workshop will consist of presentations from investigators currently working on environmental genomic projects and general discussion of emerging topics in this area. Invited speakers are Ed DeLong, Jill Banfield, Steve Gill, and Stacy Cuifo. There will ample time for other participants to make a brief presentation and for group-wide discussions during the workshop.

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