Hot dayum, Craig Venter

There’s a new paper today describing the use of very short sequences (100 base pairs long) and sophisticated computational algorithms to map out an entire genome sequence. Falling asleep yet? Ok, that technology might sound pretty cool, but for us molecular biologists it is sooo last season in the genomics world (like beige nail polish was so Fall 2010. Metallics are in now, people!).

Anyone with enough money and enough DNA can sequence a genome nowadays. But the people at the good old Craig Venter Institute are always pushing the boat out – now they’ve sequenced and assembled the genome from a SINGLE BACTERIA!!! An uncultured, marine bacteria nonetheless.

Read all about it in the new paper, “Efficient de novo assembly of single-cell bacterial genomes from short-read datasets” out today in Nature Biotechnology:

We apply this method [a computational algorithm tailored to short-read data from single cells] to assemble a genome from a single cell of an uncultivated SAR324 clade of Deltaproteobacteria, a cosmopolitan bacterial lineage in the global ocean. Metabolic reconstruction suggests that SAR324 is aerobic, motile and chemotaxic. Our approach enables acquisition of genome assemblies for individual uncultivated bacteria using only short reads, providing cell-specific genetic information absent from metagenomic studies.

Hot Dayum Craig Venter, that’s some awesome science. Does this blog post now entitle me to a ride on your yacht?

Holly Bik (140 Posts)

I am a computational biologist at the University of California, Davis. My research uses DNA sequencing and genomics to study microbial eukaryotes (yeah, nematodes!) in marine ecosystems, with an emphasis on evolution and biodiversity in the deep-sea. I can neither confirm nor deny that I like Unix more than I like going to sea.