The competence network consists of four clusters and a centre organizing the sequencing of microbial genomes as well as the production of DNA-arrays. In three of the four clusters priority is given to the sequencing of microbial genomes; the resulting sequence data is the basis for developing new interesting enzyme systems, optimizing protein secretion processes and generating production processes for organic compounds derived from unusual substrates. Six microbial genomes will be sequenced, including the genomes of Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Gluconobacter oxydans, Ralstonia eutropha and Picrophilus torridus. Parts of the sequencing work are carried out by the Göttingen Genomics Laboratory.
The fourth cluster is characterized by terms like metagenome, environmental libraries, ’High-Throughput Screening’ and ’Sequence-based Drug Discovery’. The basis for these research projects is biodiversity. It is only possible to cultivate approx. 1% of the bacteria to be found in a certain habitat. The growth conditions of the majority of microorganisms are unknown. Therefore, it is hardly possible to grow them in the laboratory. To obtain the entire genomic information of a certain habitat the complete DNA of all organisms is isolated by destroying the existing microorganisms. This isolated DNA represents the ’metagenome’. The next steps for obtaining a so-called environmental library are DNA fragmentation, size-fragmentation and ligation in a certain vector. The different environmental libraries contain 300,000 up to 800,000 different fragments of the metagenome which can be expressed in E. coli. This approach is adopted by several working groups participating in the competence network.
Kompetenznetz GenoMik Göttingen