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American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Preview –
SMRTest Microbe Grant Program

Thursday, May 15, 2014

We’re getting ready for next week’s annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Thousands of microbiologists from around the world will be gathering in Boston for the event, which is widely recognized as the leading conference for the field.

At last year’s ASM meeting, we hosted our first-ever grant program for scientists hoping to use Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing for their microbe of interest. The winner for that SMRT Grant was Michael Nelson from the University of Connecticut. Nelson received free SMRT Cells and project support to sequence a putative novel Bacteroidete genus with importance to the digestive tract. He had previously attempted to sequence the microbe with short-read technologies, but wasn’t successful at getting the full genome until he used the PacBio® platform. Today, Nelson has the organism’s full genome assembled in a single contig.

We will once again be hosting a grant program this year, but have now expanded it to also include researchers not attending ASM. The winner will receive a sequencing run on the PacBio RS II using one SMRT Cell 8Pac and up to four library constructions. To tell us why your microbial project should be funded, check out the program details and enter here.

There will be plenty of opportunities to hear about SMRT Sequencing during the seven program presentations and 13 posters at the meeting. Here are the presentations:

New Type IIG Restriction Enzymes Discovered by PacBio Sequencing
Richard Morgan; New England Biolabs

Methylation in Salmonella Strains
Maria Hoffman; FDA/CFSAN/DM

An Integrative Network Approach to Investigate Methylation-mediated Control of Gene Expression in Bacteria
S. Zhu, G. Fang; Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Tracking Hospital Patients and Environment with Complete Genome Sequencing of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and other Enterobacteriaceae
Julia Segre; NIH

Characterizing Bacterial Methylomes from Heterogeneous Samples at Single Molecule Resolution
G. Fang, J. Beaulaurier, S. Zhu; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Strain-Based Differences in DNA Methyltransferase Activities in Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
S. S. Shell, A. Fomenkov, M. R. Chase, R. J. Roberts, S. M. Fortune; Harvard School of Public Health and New England Biolabs

100+ Methylomes from Diverse Bacteria
Matthew Blow; Joint Genome Institute

You can check out the complete list of posters. Stop by booth #1034 to pick up a limited-edition PacBio Petri dish soap! We’d be happy to talk to you about your work and how SMRT Sequencing can be applied to your research.

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