The most wanted and most fastidious

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Science  02 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6256, pp. 53-54
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6256.53-f

Cataloging of the human microbiota is continuing apace, but our functional knowledge of the key organisms is woeful. Ó Cuív et al. have exploited bacterial sex, or conjugation, to isolate and genetically manipulate a broad range of the functionally important Firmicute bacteria from mixed human fecal cultures. The recombinant pEHR5 vectors are stably maintained and can be used to fluorescently label some of the Clostridium-group bacteria, which are poorly understood organisms, despite several species being earmarked as desirable for a healthy gut community. This technique will allow the integration of metagenomics with bacterial genetics and paves the way to discovering what these organisms do and where in the gut they do it.

Sci. Rep, 10.1038/srep13282 (2015).

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