Humans overlook bacteria in genomic research

Decades after the genomics revolution, half of known eukaryote lineages still remain unstudied at the genomic level–with the field displaying a research bias against ‘less popular’, but potentially genetically rich, single-cell organisms.

This lack of microbial representation leaves a world of untapped genetic potential undiscovered, according to an exhaustive survey conducted by UBC researchers of on-going genomics projects. The survey results are published in the May issue of Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

“But from a biological diversity and a genomic point of view this anthropocentric approach is irrelevant, and potentially holds us back. We’re missing the opportunity to study most of the planet’s eukaryotic diversity, which means we’re missing the opportunity to study a host of alternative life strategies, novel metabolic pathways, new gene functions.”

Read the full, original story: ‘Charismatic’ organisms still dominating genomics research

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