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Functional analysis of uncultivated microbes using radioisotope probing

Final Report Summary - MICRO-RIP (Functional analysis of uncultivated microbes using radioisotope probing)

Environmental microbiology is an expanding field, critical for climate change as well as human health. Micro-RIP project (2014-2019) was a consolidator project of European Research Council, and was led by prof. Marja Tiirola, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The project focused on developing approaches based on existing high-throughput sequencing technologies to study metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of environmental samples, to study regulation of biogeochemical reactions processed by microbiomes in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Especially, interest was on microbial communities taking part in methane oxidation or nitrogen cycle and in respiring humic compounds and toxins in aquatic systems. Besides field sampling and sequencing of microbiomes of those specimens, experimental setups and bioreactors were investigated using chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques and using stable isotope labelling (15N and 13C) for studying biogeochemical processes. Novel applications on the basis of semiconductor sequencing technology were developed. Molecule-specific analysis of the DNA labelling was demonstrated using the Ion Torrent platform. Investigations on the other uses of the semiconductor sequencing technology is continued.