Laboratorio de genómica evolutiva. UMH
The Evolutionary Genomics Group of Universidad Miguel Hernández has been created with the aims of exploiting the vast richness of information that the growing database of microbial genomes is generating to understand how these microbes evolve and adapt to their specific environments. On the other hand, the roots of the group are in Microbiology, and this is our main scope i.e. the biological (holistic if you wish) understanding of microbial evolution. However, to achieve this understanding we will be deeply involved with Bioinformatics and database development and management, that together with high throughput sequencing and Microbial Ecology will form the methodological framework of the group. The study of microbes in their natural environment by metagenomics and more classical, culture based, approaches represent also one of the axis of the group endeavours. The biogeography of environmentally relevant microbes and their microdiversity is another important avenue from which we hope to improve our understanding of microbial evolution.
Our laboratory is among the most advanced metagenomics research groups in the world. We have been publishing important papers about microbial diversity since the mid-eighties and have been pioneers in the application of metagenomics to extreme and marine (mostly deep oceanic) environments. We have also extensive experience in Genomics, Bioinformatics and database development and maintenance. We have been the masterminds in the study of the genomes of Haloquadratum walsbyi, Salinibacter ruber and Alteromonas macleodii genomes. Among our most relevant contributions are: Advances in the biodiversity and ecology of the deep Mediterranean by genomics and metagenomics. The study of the saturated brines extreme environment as a model system, has become through our work the best known aquatic habitat on Earth, providing grounds for the refinement of the metagenomic approach to study genome fluidity in prokaryotes. We have had extensive collaborations with Brazillian and other Latin American researchers and have advocated the preservation of the unique microbial biodiversity richness of Latin America by genetic archival methodologies to save it from the risks of degradation and climate change.
The impacts of a better understanding of microbial evolution for human welfare are potentially enormous. Infectious diseases are still one of the main killers of mankind, particularly in developing countries, but more and more in the developed world. Both therapy and prevention of these diseases require a better understanding of microbial evolution. Besides, for more immediate application the exploitation of metagenomic libraries and culture collections for bioprospecting will always be included as side benefits of the group activities.
Este laboratorio es uno de los más avanzados en metagenómica en el mundo. Llevan publicando artículos de gran relevancia sobre la diversidad microbiana desde mediados de los años 80 y han sido pioneros en la aplicación de la metagenómica en entornos extremos y marinos (profundidades oceánicas principalmente).
Este laboratorio es uno de los más avanzados grupos de investigación en metagenómica en el mundo. Llevan publicando artículos de gran relevancia sobre la diversidad microbiana desde mediados de los años 80 y han sido pioneros en la aplicación de la metagenómica en entornos extremos y marinos (profundidades oceánicas principalmente). También tienen experiencia en genómica, bioinformática y desarrollo y mantenimiento de bases de datos.