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Rapidly moving new bacteria to model-organism status


The paradigm of large research communities collectively working on a small number of model bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis is changing. While these classic model bacteria will continue to be important for advanced systems biology and new technology development, we envision that increasingly small research teams will be deeply investigating their own favorite strains, for example as new hosts for metabolic engineering or as key members of a complex microbiome. Given the lack of a research community and the sheer number of possible bacteria to interrogate, the development and application of technologies to rapidly and inexpensively advance these unstudied strains to 'model-organism' status is imperative. Here, we discuss the minimal information and tools necessary to develop a new model bacterium and how existing approaches can bring this power into the hands of a single investigator.

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