The Agricultural Systems and Microbial Genomics Laboratory (ASMG Laboratory) was established to support Dr. Dou and Dr. Pitta in their research endeavors.
Dr. Pitta is the ruminant nutrition and microbiologist at the Center for Animal Health and Productivity (CAHP), New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania.
Research in the Microbial Genomics section of the ASMG lab focuses primarily on the gut microbial composition of ruminants, utilizing both culture-based and advanced molecular methodologies. The alimentary tract of a ruminant is colonized by millions of microbes living in a symbiotic relationship with the host. Therefore, knowledge of the microbial composition of the entire gut can provide insights into improving the overall health and productivity of the animal.
The recent advent of next generation sequencers has greatly enhanced the ability to explore community microbial populations. The ASMG lab has the capabilities to perform metagenomic studies including sample preparation, genomic DNA extraction and generating 16S amplicon libraries for sequencing on next generation platforms. The sequenced data is analyzed at the ASMG laboratory utilizing the appropriate bioinformatics tools for data interpretation. The lab is in the process of streamlining the protocols for generating 18S libraries for protozoa and fungal communities.