Dr. Manuel Kleiner
North Carolina State University
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology & Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities Cluster
Metaproteomics is an umbrella term for all high-throughput methods used to identify and quantify proteins in microbial communities to determine which metabolic pathways and physiological functions are of relevance under a given environmental condition. Initially, metaproteomics was a makeshift adaptation of proteomic methods that were developed to work with single (pure culture) organisms, but not with complex communities of uncultured organisms. Only recently have some research groups begun to develop dedicated metaproteomic approaches that provide novel kinds of insights into microbial community functioning.
In my talk, I will give an overview of the current state of the art in metaproteomics and use several examples of exciting discoveries made with metaproteomics to illustrate what kind of questions can be addressed with it. I will also present two new metaproteomic approaches that we developed only very recently. The first one provides a new method for assessing species biomass contributions in microbial communities. The second one allows us to determine the stable carbon isotope composition of individual species in microbial communities, which can provide clues on which metabolic pathways and food sources are used by an organism. One core approach that we relied on to develop these approaches into robust and reproducible tools is the use of mock microbial communities for method development, testing and validation. I will also briefly touch on the things we have learned from using these mock communities.
Host: Frank Stewart