Metagenomics, metataxonomics or 16S amplicon sequencing? An introduction to microbiome analysis.

by Julie MacKinnon, Microbiome Services Manager High throughput sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene has become an increasingly popular analysis in recent years. One of the most high-profile applications of this technology has been in analysing and understanding the human gut microbiome and this is a service that we provide at NCIMB to support our customers’ research and development work. Analysing stool samples may not sound like the most pleasant occupation, but the research being undertaken in this area, for example, in understanding the relationship between microbiome, nutrition and …

Meet us at RMF 2023!

Our consultant Microbiologist Dr Carol Devine will be attending the Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF) in London on 15 November. The event is run by the Energy Institute (EI) with the support of a small working group within the EI’s Microbiology Committee, of which Carol has been a member for a number of years. Excellent and welcoming event RMF is an excellent and very welcoming multi-disciplinary platform that brings together oil producers, scientists, technologists, engineers, academics and researchers from around the world to present, share, and discuss the widespread and versatile …

Comparing and differentiating closely related strains of bacteria

Strain comparison and differentiation can be valuable in a range of circumstances. NCIMB’s Identification Services Manager, Vikki Warren takes a look at recent developments in the methods available for doing this and why whole genome sequencing is NCIMB’s preferred approach. Environmental monitoring is an important part of quality control in pharmaceutical manufacturing environments. When it comes to investigating incursions or process contaminants, comparing them to previous isolates and tracing their source, strain comparison and differentiation can provide valuable information over and above species level identification. If several different strains are …

What’s this concoction? The promise and power of metagenomics

At NCIMB, we routinely identify bacteria that have been found in pharmaceutical, food and other industrial production environments. Accurate identification may help the companies involved trace the source of microbial contamination, and confirm whether repeat incidences arise from the same issue. Often these jobs arrive as pure cultures on plates, and we can pick off colonies to isolate the single species present. However, sometimes we’re faced with a more challenging question. For example, we were recently asked to identify the components of …

NCIMB culture collection deposits & services reflect growing microbiome research activity

NCIMB’s NGS services manager Dr Daniel Swan examines how developments in microbiome and probiotics research have been reflected in activity at NCIMB, from additions to their culture collection to provision of whole genome sequencing and metagenomics services. NCIMB Ltd is custodian of the UK’s National Collection of Industrial, Food and Marine Bacteria. That might sound like an eclectic mix, but over the past 70 years the content of the collection has become increasingly diverse, and it now includes bacteria for a huge range of ecological niches. The collection has always …

Next generation sequencing: revolutionising microbiology

The development of next generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionised genomic research, but what exactly are the benefits of NGS, and what value can it offer our customers? We take a brief look back at the development of sequencing technologies and highlights some of the applications. Microbiologists have always exploited new technologies in order to understand the impact and processes of bacterial systems. In 1977, Carl Woese revolutionised microbial taxonomy, using rRNA genes as a marker to classify archaea as a separate domain from bacteria. The same year marked the development …