I will be participating in a conference addressing the issue of
establishing priorities in bacterial diversity research (15-18
June). In an effort to obtain a broad range of ideas, I'm
requesting that anyone who has thoughts (including biases!) about
this issue please e-mail them to me.
It might be helpful to examine the following background statement
relative to this request.
A major limitation to identifying environmental isolates is
the absence of a well characterized and balanced database.
The current practice of using available databases which are
based primarily on medically important bacteria often does
not make it possible to identify environmental isolates.
1. What should be done to expand and organize databases
to include environmental isolates?
2. When data on bacterial diversity and inventories are
obtained, how should the data be handled and processed?
3. How does one go about comparing strains with one
another from one habitat and from many habitats?
4. How do these strains compare with known bacteria?
5. How should these data be available to other
scientists? Should this be done through publication or
databases or both?
6. What features are important to users of databases?
7. How can we structure databases to reveal what are the
most useful tests or comparisons that need to be done?
moorel at cgrb.orst.edu