One Bacterial Cell, One Complete Genome

May 1st, 2010 by Francis Martin Leave a reply »

90% of microbial bugs are eluding current culturing attempts. Sequencing of single cells is a novel culture-independent approach, which enables access to the genetic material of an individual cell of unculturable bacteria. In PLoS One this week, Jan-Fang Cheng’s and Nancy Moran’s groups at JGI and the University of Arizona report the completed sequence of Candidatus Sulcia meulleri, obtained from an uncultured single cell. The Bacteroidetes Sulcia is one of two obligate bacterial symbionts inhabiting sharpshooters. A single Sulcia cell was sampled from the host bacteriome using an inverted microscope (Zeiss) and a micromanipulator, its genome amplified via multiple displacement amplification and sequenced using a combination of Sanger sequence and pyrosequencing, generating a total of 57 Mb of sequence. This approach can now be used to generate complete reference genomes urgently needed for metagenomic of bacterial communities.

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