Fine-scale resolution of genomes in natural microbial communities (ARC Discovery Project administered by the University of Technology Sydney) (2018–2021)
This project aims to develop advanced molecular and statistical techniques to precisely resolve the genomes of
microbes in the environment. Microbes inhabit every niche on the planet and are fundamental to human and
animal health, agriculture, and the environment. The proposed technology captures the 3D organisation of DNA
sequences and integrates that data with statistical methods from machine learning to reconstruct genomes. We
will demonstrate the technology by resolving the fine-scale population structure of Synechococcus in Australian
waters. Synechococcus are one of Earth's most abundant microbes and are major contributors to the carbon
cycle. We will also investigate the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in farm animals.