Session: Connecting Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives to Find What Matters in Microbial Responses to Change
We sequenced it but what does it do? Using nucleic acid sequences to predict ecosystem function
Monday, August 2, 2021
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Michael Shaffer and Kelly Wrighton, College of Agricultural Sciences, Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Mikayla A Borton, Biological Systems Science, Pacific Northwest National Labratory, Richland, WA
Predicting traits from environmental DNA is life’s Scrabble game with four letters. Like making words in Scrabble, we find genes in the letters that make up DNA sequences. We can then assign function to predicted genes by comparing them to genes of known function, analogous to looking up words in the dictionary. When playing a word in Scrabble, it must fit with other words on the board. Similarly, using collections of genes from genomes, we can fit together the functions of multiple genes to determine microbial genomic potential and link this to larger ecosystem processes.