Pink slime yields first set of genomes sequenced from environment UC Berkeley

In the first triumph of a field dubbed “environmental genomics,” scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute, have for the first time sequenced the genomes of the most abundant members of a community of organisms – not one at a time, but simultaneously. The researchers took a simple community of microbes from a pink slick on the floor of an abandoned mine, ground them up, and shotgun sequenced the lot. As they put the pieces of DNA back together, the snippets fell easily into five distinct genomes, four of them unknown until now.