Summer of Genomics Book Club

I’m lookinThe Geneg forward to participating this summer in a book club that is associated with the Microbiology Journal Club.  See Dr. Laura Williams’ post for more information.  Here, I just want to quickly list the books that are queued up for discussion.  If digging into these books with some enthusiastic scientists sounds like something you would like to join in on, please send me a note or contact Laura directly.


June: The Gene by Siddartha Mukherjee

July: Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts

August: The Society of Genes by Itai Yanai and Lercher Martin

Note: Links are to the Kindle edition of these books.

Processes shaping microbiome of bromeliad plants

In the May 2017 Microbiology Journal club, we discussed a paper entitled “High taxonomic variability despite stable functional structure across microbial communities“.  This journal club is headed up by Dr. Laura Williams of Providence College and co-hosted by the Dr. Karen Lo.

Dr. Williams’ intro: In microbiome studies, researchers often consider both taxonomic composition (what bacterial taxa are there?) and functional capacity (what can these bacteria do?). In this paper, researchers looked at the microbial communities in the “tanks” of bromeliad plants. These “tanks” are central cavities that collect rainwater and organic material. The researchers used 16S rRNA gene data to detect different types of bacteria and classified these bacteria into one of nine metabolic functional groups. They then examined the taxonomic composition within each of these groups. What processes, such as environmental filtering, random demographic drift or biotic interactions, affect the composition of these functional groups?