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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 Jun;12(3):310-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2009.03.004. Epub 2009 May 4.

Microbial community proteomics: elucidating the catalysts and metabolic mechanisms that drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles.

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Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Molecular techniques are providing unprecedented insights into the organismal and functional make-up of natural microbial consortia. Apart from nucleic acid based approaches, community proteomics has the potential to provide a high-resolution representation of genotypic and phenotypic traits of distinct community members. With the recent availability of extensive genomic sequences from different microbial ecosystems, community proteomics has thus far been applied to activated sludge, acid mine drainage biofilms, freshwater and seawater, soil, symbiotic communities, and gut microbiota. Although these studies differ considerably in the depth of coverage of their respective protein complements, they highlight the power of community proteomics in providing a conclusive link between community composition, physilogy, function, interaction, ecology, and evolution.

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