Title: Microbial Biodiversity and Molecular Approach
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC56843
ISBN: 978-92-79-14990-0
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 24243 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC56843
DOI: 10.2788/60582
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Biodiversity is given by the variety of species on Earth resulting from billions of years of evolution. Molecular-phylogenetic studies have revealed that the main diversity of life is microbial and it is distributed among three domains: Achaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. The functioning of whole biosphere depends absolutely on the activities of the microbial world. Due to their versatility microbes are the major natural providers of ecological services as well play major role in semi-artificial systems such as sewage treatment plants, landfills, and in toxic waste bioremediation. As for other organisms many pressures and drivers are causing decrease of microbial biodiversity. Several publications document the effect of chemical pollutants e.g. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), of atmospheric pollution, of temperature change and of fertilization on microbial community structure. These studies are now possible because sequencing technologies are in ongoing revolution allowing massive de novo sequencing producing millions of bases in a single day. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and single-cell sequencing are approaches providing a view not only of the community structure (species phylogeny, richness, and distribution) but also of the functional (metabolic) potential of a community because virtually about all genes are captured and sequenced. Unfortunately, although microrganisms are very important for the functioning of whole biosphere public knowledge, awareness and political actions did not yet deal with microbes when biodiversity and its decrease are highlighted.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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