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 Rutgers University

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Studying the single life of eukaryotic microbes: Single cell genomics of marine plankton

D. Bhattacharya, R.S. Roy, D.C. Price and A. Schliep

Biochemist Magazine 2014, 36:1.

The oceans are comprised of innumerable numbers of single cells living in microenvironments. Understanding who they are, what they eat, and what infects them can inform us about the true diversity of plankton, their biotic interactions, and how they may respond to a changing environment. Analyzing to significant depth the genomes and “gut” (i.e., the food vacuole, and other) contents of individual wild-caught cells would have been deemed impossible only a few years ago. However, the rapidly expanding field of single cell genomics, powered by modern cell sorting procedures, high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatic methods holds the promise to revolutionize understanding of the biodiversity and ecology of eukaryotic microbes and their places in the tree of life.