The future of microbiology is microbial Individual-Based Ecology (µIBE)

Group foto of NIMBioS workshop participants

Opinion piece in PNAS published 8 Nov 2013

Following a workshop on Individual-Based Ecology of Microbes: Observations and Modeling, held at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), Knoxville, Tennessee in June 2011, a team of 15 researchers led by Jan Kreft, Caroline Plugge and Ferdi Hellweger have published a short opinion paper in PNAS. They argue that technological advances allowing observation and experimentation on the level of single bacterial cells are generating a flood of new data. In order to make the best use of these data, individual-based observations should be combined with individual-based modelling, leading to microbial Individual-Based Ecology (µIBE). Sooner or later, this will become the future of microbiology.

Kreft JU, Plugge CM, Grimm V, Prats C, Leveau JHJ, Banitz T, Baines S, Clark J, Ros A, Klapper I, Topping CJ, Field AJ, Schuler A, Litchman E, Hellweger FL (2013). Mighty small: Observing and modeling individual microbes becomes big science. PNAS 110: 18027-18028

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