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ENVIRONMENTAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL INSIGHTS FROM MICROBIAL GENOME SEQUENCES

Alessandra Carbone and Anthony Mathelier

Génomique Analytique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie–Paris 6,FRE3214 CNRS-UPMC, 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 75006 Paris, France

14.1 SOME BACKGROUND, MOTIVATION, AND OPEN QUESTIONS

Life mechanisms have been addressed in microbiology with a model-organism approach that has dominated the history of biology of the past century. Today, the large availability of genomic data coming from genome sequencing and from new high-throughput technologies has changed radically the nature of investigations that are envisaged in molecular biology. For the first time, an organism and its changing environment can be considered together and in concert with a multitude of other organisms. Evolutionary hypothesis start to be tested at a large scale.

Even though the experimental power is present, our understanding of microben-environment interactions is still in its infancy, and upcoming discoveries and advances in geomicrobiology are likely to come from all areas of this discipline. This is a particularly good time for experimentalists to interact together with bioinformaticians, biomathematicians, and biophysicists for defining new experimental questions, analyze large amount of data, and model phenomena that characterize the new dimension within which microbiology lives today.

Microorganisms, Genome Sequences, and Comparative Genomics. The availability of a large number of genomes ...

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