About this Research Topic
Besides the role of flow cytometry within these highly informative and sophisticated approaches, the technique is valuable on its own by measuring certain cell features and corresponding cell abundances within specific microbial systems. Analogous to other known ‘omics’ technologies, Cytomics can explore the role of a subset of microorganism(s) within a community when visualized by a specific marker. Furthermore, first bioinformatic tools, similar to those used for evaluation of sequencing data, are launched that help to understand interrelationships between cells in ecosystems. Single cell analysis may be on its way to a leading tool in microbiology when powerful bioinformatic tools provide background information on fast cell dynamics. Key-subcommunities need to be identified; functions need to be correlated to specific cell types. Both the cytometric data and their evaluation will ease the selection of cells for genomic and proteomic sorting approaches and will contribute to the above mentioned high resolution methods in order to understand ecosystem functioning.
Within this topic we welcome contributions that use various single cell techniques to explore microbial ecosystems both in health (e.g. by investigating the impact of bacteria on the human system) and environment (e.g. by unraveling specific cell dynamics and functions within soil, groundwater or marine ecosystems). In addition, applications within managed microbial systems are encouraged that focus on drinking water quality, stability of wastewater treatment plants or efficiency of biogas communities. Especially welcome are new bioinfomatic approaches that enable to handle cytometric datasets and interpret community function and evolution.
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