CBE/ENGR 225 Seminar Presents: Matthias Hess, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Animal Science, Head, Systems Microbiology & Natural Products Laboratory, University of California, Davis

Tues., May 9, 2017 @ 2pm in ESB #2001

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ESB, Room 2001

4 - 5pm

*Light refreshments will be provided* 

Matthias Hess, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science
Head, Systems Microbiology & Natural Products Laboratory
University of California, Davis

Host: Michelle O’Malley

Deep Data Exploration: Enzyme Discovery from Complex Microbial Communities

Recent technological advances led to the communalization of nucleotide sequencing and next-generation sequencing platforms are now available at most universities and governmental institutions. The large amount of sequence data that is being generated for individual projects can today be analyzed via cloud computing using open source software and the scientific community is now tasked to tackle the next significant challenge: converting large amounts of data (Big Data) into meaningful data (Deep Data). Once this transition is achieved successfully, metagenomics will have matured from a hypothesis-generating into hypothesis-testing approach and it will be possible to test complex hypotheses in microbial ecology. One step into this direction and towards the ability to build mechanistic models of complex microbial processes in the environment is the capability to i) reconstruct full-length genes and pathways from omics data and ii) the ability to differentiate between genes that are only present and genes that are actively contributing to the phenotype of an individual microorganism and complex microbial communities.

During my seminar, I will discuss the strategies we employed to identify several hundreds of putative fungal glycoside hydrolases that were expressed during biomass-degradation in the cow’s rumen. Anaerobic fungi are an essential component in many biomass-degrading ecosystems, but they are currently poorly understood.


Results from our study will contribute to a better understanding of the molecular machinery that is employed by anaerobic fungi to break down complex carbohydrates and provide the opportunity to improve currently available enzyme cocktails for industrial biomass conversion.