Thursday, 23 August 2012

Day 3 at ISME

The Wednesday in the middle of ISME meetings is always an off-day for delegates to explore the host city. I actually left the city and took a tour of Fredericksborg and Kronberg Castles, the latter of which is probably most famous for being the location where the play Hamlet is set.

Today I'm back for day 3 of the ISME meeting. This afternoon I'll be chairing a session and giving my talk on Nullarbor cave bacterial slimes. This morning started with a frustrating wait in line for >30 minutes at the Speakers Ready room to get my powerpoint slides uploaded. However, things are now looking up, I'm sitting in a session this morning on Plant-Microbe Interactions. Two collaborators of mine are giving talks in this session- Jos Raaijmakers and Vittorio Venturi, neither of whom I've ever actually met, all our interactions have been via email.

Other highlights of the meeting which I haven't spoken about yet. Steve Giovannoni from Oregon State University won the Tiedje Award, and gave a great talk Tuesday night on his work on marine SAR11 bacteria. these tiny bacteria make up almost 25% of the bacteria in the world's oceans, probably making them the most numerically dominant organisms on the planet. These bacteria were unculturable until Steve's group developed methods for growing them in the lab. There appears to have been strong selective pressure for these organisms to reduce their genome size, leading to reliance on some unusual metabolites for growth. Their genome reduction has proceeded by very different pathways than that seen in intracellular pathogens and symbionts.

On the first day of the meeting I very much enjoyed the talks by Tanja Woyke from JGI and Ramunas Stepanauskas from Bigelow Labs on Single Cell Genomics. We have recently been funded by the Australian Research Council to develop a Single Cell Genomic facility in Sydney, and I learnt alot about the nuts and bolts of Single Cell Genomics from these two talks which should prove useful.

This very grim looking guy is located in the dungeons in Kronberg Castle in Elsinore, he reminds of characters from Skyrim

1 comment: