Characterization of bacterial genomes from isolates of novel species from the human gut

Emma Allen-Vercoe (MCB)

The Allen-Vercoe lab in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology has a strong research focus on the understanding of the ecology of the human gut microbiome.  Many bacterial members of this microbiome are poorly understood, partly because they are usually fastidious anaerobes which require specialist equipment for handling and culture.  However, recently we have very successfully isolated >50 novel bacterial taxa including several genera.  In order to validly describe these new taxa, we need to characterize their genomes.  This project will therefore be focused on the assembly, annotation and characterization (including comparative work with closely-related taxa) of novel bacterial taxa from the human gut.  As part of this endeavour, the successful candidate will work with A-V lab graduate students to better define the necessary growth substrates of novel isolates by mapping potential biochemical pathways from genomic data.  Further work may also be explored, such as screening genomes for the presence of prophages, virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes, as well as polishing selected draft genomes using Nanopore-derived datasets.