Updating taxonomy in the genomics era: A case study of the Epsilonproteobacteria Event as iCalendar

(Science Event Tags, Biodiversity and Biosecurity, Biological Sciences, Seminars)

20 April 2017

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1, Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds Street, City Campus

Host: School of Biological Sciences

Cost: Free - all welcome

Contact info: Associate Professor Mike Taylor

Contact email: mw.taylor@auckland.ac.nz

Dr David Waite
Dr David Waite

Updating taxonomy in the genomics era: A case study of the Epsilonproteobacteria

Dr David Waite, Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, University of Queensland

Bacteria constitute the most diverse domain of life but, as unicellular organisms, lack sufficient morphological markers to distinguish their staggering diversity.

In the absence of such markers, ribosomal subunits have been the backbone of bacterial systematics for the past 30 years. Relying on a single taxonomic marker has historically been a necessity, although its limitation has long been acknowledged. In order to improve upon this system, the Genome Taxonomy Database (GTDB; http://gtdb.ecogenomic.org/) aims to utilise data from over 78,000 bacterial and archaeal genomes to comprehensively revise and improve understanding of prokaryotic evolution.

As a specific case study of the power of – and need for – such an initiative, Dr David Waite will present recent work investigating and resolving the convoluted evolutionary history of the bacterial class Epsilonproteobacteria, a lineage which is both medically important and ecologically fascinating.