Genomes of microbes and microbial communities.
The Microbial Genomics group are developing genomic methods for understanding microbial organisms.
We are using genome sequencing to study parasites such as Trichomonas and Trypanosoma (African sleeping sickness, leishmania and chagas disease) which cause important diseases in both humans and animals. We also apply these methods to plant pathogens using population genetics methods to understand how new crop pathogens emerge.
We use comparative and functional genomics to identify the genes that are involved in interaction with the host. By studying strains and species that have defined phenotypic differences (such as differences in virulence or host specificity) we can use direct genome analysis to identify their genetic basis and study the rate at which genes are evolving.
We are also developing methods to sequence individual cells from environmental samples to better understand how different species evolved and how they interact with each other.