Our cluster will develop the next generation of tools and capabilities to probe the molecular mechanisms underlying community interactions. We will manage, analyze, interpret and model the enormous amounts of data generated by microbiome studies and begin assembling synthetic communities. We will focus on microbial communities associated with crop plants, farm animals, insects and the environment. This focus builds upon NC State’s existing strengths in agriculture and biotechnology and will establish a research nexus in this field. Currently, the Kleiner Lab applies these methods to study beneficial plant-microbe interactions, the link between dietary components and the intestinal microbiota, and the physiology and metabolism of symbioses in marine animals.
Note: Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities maintains a listerv that anyone at NC State can join. To join the listserv and keep up with the latest information on microbiomes research, teaching and other relevant updates, email Manuel Kleiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cluster hosts the monthly M^3 Seminar Series. All of the seminars are on Thursday at 4 p.m. in 3503 Thomas Hall (Stephens Room), with refreshments served at 3:45.
- February 6: Dr. Rob Dunn, NC State – “Understanding the Microbiomes of Homo erectus: A Look into what we do and don’t know about the microbial associates of our ancestors and their consequences”
- March 5: Dr. Kevin Garcia, NC State (TBD, Plant-Microbe interactions)
- April 30: Dr. Cara Fiore, Appalachian State University (TBD, Sponge Microbiomes)
- May 7: Dr. Jon Clardy, Harvard University – “Natural products mediating host-microbe interactions”
- June 4: Dr. Gina Chaput and Dr. Jennifer Rocca from the Hawkes Lab
- July 2: Dr. Andrew Neilson, NC State – “Intestinal metabolites and chronic disease”
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We will support NC State’s growth as an internationally recognized, multidisciplinary center of excellence in the analysis and engineering of plant, animal and insect microbiomes, as well as the complex microbial communities in soil and water environments. In turn, we aim to tackle myriad societal challenges in energy, sustainability, food security and health that trace back to microbial communities.
Life on Earth is sustained by microbial communities composed of bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, algae and protists. These communities inhabit everywhere from the bottom of the ocean to the digestive tracts of insects. Those inhabiting higher organisms have been directly linked to plant growth and productivity, animal health and nutrition, and insect development. Other free-living complex microbial communities are the basis for applied microbial processes such as wastewater treatment, fermentation, bioremediation and biofuel production. NC State maintains the institutional capabilities needed to effectively study microbiomes and other complex microbial communities, including genome and metagenome sequencing, proteomics, bioinformatics, research greenhouses and germ-free animal facilities. Faculty also address the roles of microorganisms in a variety of environmental settings. The university will establish a core group of faculty who can integrate existing tools and resources and focus on characterizing, modeling and engineering microbiomes and complex microbial communities. Our work will bridge the gap between research and application.
Dr. Manuel Kleiner will be teaching a course on Microbial Symbiosis and Microbiomes for the Fall 2019 semester. Learn more about the course.
Cluster News More News
Mathematical Model Could Help Correct Bias in Measuring Bacterial Communities
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a mathematical model that shows how bias distorts results when measuring bacterial communities through metagenomic sequencing.
Deceptively Simple: Minute Marine Animals and Microbial Dark Matter
A team of scientists, including CALS’s Manuel Kleiner, has discovered that tiny marine animals known as Trichoplax live in a sophisticated symbiosis with two types of bacteria. Their study appeared recently in the journal Nature Microbiology.
Crop Resilience is Focus of New Interdisciplinary Research
Research suggests that microbes in the soil, roots and leaves have important impacts on plant health and productivity. Now, new interdisciplinary research at North Carolina State University and three Danish universities will examine the roles of plant-associated microbes and their interactions with plants. The goal is to help make crops more resilient against environmental stresses…