Microbiology white paper
This review will explore how microbiologists are now utilising the long-read capabilities of real-time nanopore sequencing to overcome the challenges of short-read sequencing technologies to fully characterise microbial genomes — shedding new light on microbial evolution, pathogenicity, and antimicrobial resistance.
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Microorganisms are the most abundant and diverse forms of life on Earth, with an estimated 1 trillion species. They are essential components of all ecosystems and play a crucial role in health, disease and many industrial processes.
The field of microbiology has seen enormous impact from sequencing technologies. Traditionally, microorganisms have been studied through the culturing of individual species or strains using artificial culture media; however, of the 10 million species so far catalogued, only 10,000 (0.1%) have been cultured in the laboratory. The advent of modern sequencing technologies, which allows high‑throughput genomic analysis of cultured and, importantly, uncultured microbes, has drastically increased our capability to identify and characterise microorganisms.