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Thursday 18 April 2013
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Assessing the diversity and dynamics of microbial communities within the gut


Istituto di Microbiologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy

The microbial community resident in the intestinal tract has a considerable effect on the physiology of the host and has been implicated in both beneficial and adverse health effects. Diet is a major factor that affects the microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract and thus impact on animal well-being and production. Our research activities are focused on exploring the role of diet in influencing the composition and activity of the gut microbiota in animal models to identify early microbiological markers for the development of disease-related conditions. Moreover, we investigate the effect of feed additives such as probiotics and prebiotics on the gut microbiota to manage the microbial communities for health purpose in humans and to improve performance in farm animals. Early molecular approaches based on Sanger sequencing to characterize bacterial communities present in gut or fecal samples have long been used, but they are highly labour intensive and often have poor resolution. We are now interested in exploiting the potential of more accurate and powerful techniques relying on the recent development of next generation sequencing (NGS) such as metabarcoding to monitor intestinal population changes upon nutritional or therapeutic interventions.

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Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • ZINGER Lucie
    • IBENS
    • Paris (France)
  • Vodka, Bison and Metabarcoding

    31 July 2015, by BRANDNER Melissa

    The start of last month saw the occurrence of the Fifth Metabarcoding Spring School held in Białowieża National Park , Poland. A variety of scientists attended from all over the globe to learn, share and inspire with unique stories of metabarcoding.
    The scientists at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża National Park hosted this year’s workshop. And our hats go off to them for the organizational skills, warmth and hospitality. During the week, experienced metabarcoders gave lectures on their trials and tribulations in the field of metabarcoding, sparking conversations between the attendees. The end of the first day saw flash talks from all participants of the event, creating an icebreaker and showing the wide variety of applications for metabarcoding, including, dietary studies, environmental health, fundamental ecology and exploration of rare and ancient habitats.
    Pierre Taberlet (who is rumoured to run 8000 PCR a day!) taught technical aspects such as DNA extraction in (...)

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