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Identification of the microbial world

Identification of the microbial world

Title: High throughput identification of the microbial world

Microbes play a vital role in most processes in the biosphere. They are also essential for human health and for solving present and future environmental challenges. While it is estimated that millions of bacterial species exist on the plant, only about 5000 of these are isolated and described today. We have recently developed a game-changing novel inexpensive DNA-technology that allows identification of hundreds of thousands of prokaryotes within days by using existing sequencing platforms and is considerably more reliable than existing high throughput methods. We plan to refine and apply this new method to make real groundbreaking advances in the identification and discovery of the fascinating microbial world on the planet. Initial focus areas will be related to ecosystems of biotechnological relevance and various natural environments.


  • The project is funded by The Villum Foundation in the period 2016-2018.

Project content:

  • Generate a comprehensive database of full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences from Danish and foreign WWTPs and biogas plants and improve and expand the MiDAS taxonomy.
  • Generate a comprehensive database of the Danish drinking water systems.
  • Discovery of novel microbes in “exotic” samples from extreme environments in Denmark and all over the world.

Project participants:

Aalborg University, Center for Microbial Communities:

  • Per Halkjær Nielsen, Professor (project leader)
  • NN, post.doc.
  • Mads Albersen, Post.Doc.
  • Morten Dueholm, Assistant Professor
  • Simon McIlroy, Post.Doc.