Submitted to: MIE Bioforum
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2004
Publication Date: 1/2/2005
Citation: Morrison, M., Nelson, K.E., Mackie, R.I., Forsberg, C.W., Russell, J.B., White, B.A., Wilson, D.B. 2005. Functional and comparative genomics of cellulolytic bacteria. MIE Bioforum. p.29. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: A relatively comprehensive assessment of the genetic blueprint underpinning ruminal fiber degradation will remain largely dormant unless new reagents and tools - combined with functional, systematic and integrated studies - are undertaken with cellulolytic bacteria. To that end, the consortium has begun the production of microarrays for F. succinogenes, which will be used to examine how the transcriptome of the bacterium is affected by variations in substrate composition, availability, and other perturbations of the physicochemical features of the growth environment. Both 2D-PAGE/MS and isotope-coded affinity tag (ICAT) methods are also being employed to reveal differences in the proteomes of these bacteria - such as post-translational modifications of proteins and "cellulosome" composition - brought about by the culture conditions described above. Gene transfer protocols and mutagenesis strategies for these bacteria must also be developed, to promote the use of ruminal bacteria in fundamental studies of microbial biology. Although some of these activities are already underway, progress still needs to be made in several areas, especially in relation to the development of microarrays and methods of mutational analysis, with virtually all species of cellulolytic microbes. Genome sequencing now serves as the foundation for a multitude of comparative and functional lines of investigation that seek to understand, at an organismal level, the molecular biology underpinning the lifestyle of specific microbe. Although the application of these methodologies with cellulolytic bacteria is still in its infancy, hopefully our consortium will serve as a useful model to bring cellulolytic bacterial genomes to life.