NABT 2019: Caturday Microbiomes – Thinking Outside the Litter Box With Danny and Lil Bub

Sat Nov 16, 2019

Kitty cat

Dr. Sandra Porter presents at the National Association of Biology Teachers professional development conference. Saturday November 16, at 2 pm central time. 


Caturday Microbiomes – Thinking Outside the Litter Box With Danny and Lil Bub 

Author: Sandra Porter, Digital World Biology LLC and Bio-Link

Abstract: Learn how to investigate and compare the microbiomes from Lil Bub, a YouTube celebrity cat with several genetic abnormalities, and Danny, a normal house cat, using whole genome DNA sequencing data provided by Phase Genomics, Inc.

Description: DNA sequencing gives us an unprecedented ability to learn about the microbes that share our bodies. However, identifying new microorganisms or assigning plasmids to their proper bacterial host remains a challenging problem due to the limitations of DNA sequencing technology.  Hi-C is a new method where DNA is cross-linked prior to sequencing, making it possible to identify linked DNA fragments and assemble complete genomes from individual cells.

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to the cutting edge of microbiome analysis and share a rich data set consisting of assembled genome data from the gut microbiomes of two cats, Lil Bub and Danny.  Lil Bub is a celebrity cat with genetic abnormalities and Danny is a normal house cat.  Phase Genomics performed the DNA sequencing and assembly and has made the data available on their website for public use.

Workshop participants will learn how researchers use microbiome data and identify new species.  They will also learn how to interpret some of the statistical parameters associated with that data and carry out additional analyses.

Each participant will investigate a member of a cat microbiome community by locating it in the NCBI Lifemap, and carry out a blastx search to identify a protein from that microorganism.  Methods for learning more about individual microbes and performing additional experiments comparing the microbiomes from the two cats will be discussed.

Participants are encouraged to bring laptop computers.

Relevant URLs:

Lil Bub Aids in Discovery of New Bacteria  (Phase Genomics blog)

Lil Bub & Danny's data



PDF icon Caturday_microbiome_2019.pdf7.71 MB

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