CME Research Program
Fundamental research done by Center investigators is focused on
answering the following questions: (1) What genotypic and phenotypic
characteristics influence competitive success in microbial populations and
communities? (2) How is genetic diversity generated and maintained
within microbial populations? (3) How do microorganisms adapt to
adverse environmental conditions? (4) What is the extent of microbial
diversity? (5) What is the spatial distribution of microbial genotypes and
phenotypes in the environment? (6) How do the dynamics of trophic
interactions influence the structure of microbial communities? This research
is organized into the following five Thrust Groups:
- Community Analysis -
Studies the ecological patterns of genotypic and phenotypic characters found
in microbial communities that reflect the outcome of competitiveness and diversity
and ultimately influence the dynamics of microbial processes in the environment.
- Population Dynamics and Evolution -
Conducts studies on genetic mutability and competitiveness to understand better the factors that
contribute to evolutionary success in microorganisms.
- Microbial Adaptation - Seeks to
understand the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics that influence the ability
of microbial populations to adapt to stress and other changes in the environment.
- Polyphasic Taxonomy - Addresses the
national need for additional and integrated information on microbial biodiversity
through the development and use of methods and databases to understand better the
extent and utility of microbial biological diversity and seeks to explore, identify,
and characterize novel microbial diversity.
- Bioremediation -- Research in the
Bioremediation thrust group is directed toward enhancing the bioremediation of
environmental pollutants, developing practical bioremediation processes,and
characterizing populations of microorganisms able to degrade environmental contaminants.