The Computational Metagenomics group at the Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Bielefeld University, Germany, is headed by Dr. Alexander Sczyrba. The group has strong experience in bioinformatics analyses, including large-scale metagenomics studies of the cow rumen and biogas fermenters, including large-scale assemblies of metagenomic data sets, taxonomic classification and binning of contigs into draft genomes. Other research interests include single cell genomics and cloud-based pipelines for large-scale bioinformatics applications.
At IBERS, Dr. Gareth W. Griffith has worked on AF for over 30 years and has been involved in the discovery of four of the nine acknowledged genera as well as in updating the taxonomy by molecular phylogenetics. With collaborators at IBERS he is exploring the ecology of all fungi including AF, with the attribution of correct names for the natural groupings, a prerequisite for the understanding of their niche specialisation. Recent innovations at IBERS include the development of DNA meta-barcoding approaches for AF population dynamics and the use of alternative loci to ITS for their classification. IBERS also possess the infrastructure for the isolation, cultivation and preservation of AF and wider research expertise on rumen microbiology permits the study of the interaction of AF with other rumen biota.
Present scientific topics of the Lab of Anaerobic Microbiology at the IAPG, Czech Academy of Sciences, range from biodiversity to biomedicine oriented research using anaerobic cultivation combined with molecular methods. The role of the microbiome of the digestive tract in veterinary medicine is studied and special attention is devoted to AF from rumen and hindgut of large herbivores. Hydrolytic activities and enzyme production of AF are studied in respect to potential industrial application in biogas production. The laboratory is characterized by extensive international collaboration and participation in multi-institutional collaborative initiatives as AF Network, Fungal Barcoding Consortium, Fungal Diversity Consortium, Global Rumen Census and RMG Network. Special emphasis is laid on AF isolation, long-term cultivation, taxonomic differentiation,
microscopic- and enzymatic characterisation and diversity studies in different hosts as well as on the industrial application of different AF genera.
The TUM will add to the project with extensive experience in isolation and characterization of microbes from various environments and microscopy of anaerobic organisms. The TUM is well equipped for the cultivation of anaerobic microorganisms (e.g. anaerobic cabinet) and their microscopic analysis (CLSM Zeiss 510 Meta). The research is application oriented and will extend the knowledge and application fields of AF. The laboratory is perfectly suited to cultivate a huge variety of microorganisms and has its own culture collection.