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Microbial Biotechnology
Vol. 8 (1), 2015, Pages: 57

Beyond borders: investigating microbiome interactivity and diversity for advanced biocontrol technologies

Gabriele Berg

Institute of Environmental Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology & ACIB Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, Graz, Austria.


Recent, primarily technology-based advances in microbial ecology have opened an immense treasure chest of microbial diversity that has been observed in the vast majority of all investigated habitats. Additionally, habitats which were assumed to be sterile for a long time are now known to be colonized by diverse microorganisms; e.g. within the placenta and stomach of humans or reproductive organs of plants. Through the implementation of new techniques, deeper insights into the structure of microbiomes mainly by amplicon sequencing and microscopy have been gained. Now the current focus of research is on analysis of their function implementing meta-(genomic/epigenomic/transcriptomic/proteomic) techniques. The management of the accumulated metadata and the gleaning of new information is the challenge we are facing, but that challenge will be solved in the near future (Jansson, 2013). By looking into the proverbial crystal ball, my intention is to highlight two scientific aspects in particular, which I believe have been overlooked in current approaches to ecological research: (i) the interactivity of microbiomes and (ii) the interplay between microorganisms derived from different kingdoms – in particular archaea, bacteria and fungi. Both aspects could inspire the future course of biotechnology.


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