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? NCIMB’s NGS Services Manager, Dr Daniel Swan, takes 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. …

NCIMB launches three-point strain health check service

Microorganisms have many applications in a diverse range of industry sectors – from traditional food and drink manufacturing to industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology. Good microbe management is crucial to ensure that processes are optimised and products meet quality requirements. To support companies in achieving this, NCIMB has launched a new three-point strain health check for microbes used as production strains, and in applications such as feed additives or probiotic products. The health check service allows organisations that use microorganisms in these ways to: Identify and assess strain functionality Monitor …