Microbes shape the world around us. Bacteria and fungi are crucial for nutrient cycling in soils, marine microorganisms are vital to ecological cycles, and the importance of animal and human microbiomes is become ever so clear. Simply put, we live in a microbial world. Interestingly it is estimated that we have only identified less than 2 % of all microorganisms on Earth, which leaves a lot to be discovered.
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has opened up a new level of opportunities to screen and identify the microbial community of a wide variety of environmental samples. With our Illumina MiniSeq we are sequencing both whole genome sequences of isolated bacteria and algae and metagenomes from various global locations (e.g. San Diego beach, Japanese rice fields, Siberian lakes and Yellowstone National Park). Unraveling these genomes and performing species comparisons broadens our understanding of the microbial diversity and evolutionary connections of these microorganisms.