Systems biology approaches towards predictive microbial ecology.

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Environmental microbiology


Through complex interspecies interactions, microbial processes drive nutrient cycling and biogeochemistry. However, we still struggle to predict specifically which organisms, communities, and biotic and abiotic processes are determining ecosystem function and how environmental changes will alter their roles and stability. While the tools to create such a predictive microbial ecology capability exist, cross-disciplinary integration of high-resolution field measurements, detailed laboratory studies, and computation is essential. In this perspective, we emphasize the importance of pursuing a multiscale, systems approach to iteratively link ecological processes measured in the field to testable hypotheses that drive high-throughput laboratory experimentation. Mechanistic understanding of microbial processes gained in controlled lab systems will lead to the development of theory that can be tested back in the field. Using N


Institute for Systems Biology