The microbial diversity on our planet is vast. Yet, while a considerable fraction of this diversity has been uncovered in recent years using cultivation-independent approaches (e.g. metagenomics), the vast majority of the currently known microbial diversity remains uncultured to date.
This ‘uncultured majority’ includes many enigmatic prokaryotic lineages that play pivotal roles in nutrient cycles (e.g. various subsurface archaeal groups) and lineages that are potentially informative about major evolutionary transitions (e.g. Asgard archaea, alphaproteobacterial, cyanobacteria, etc). In this project we aim to develop and employ new and high-throughput cultivation approaches to culture representatives of microbial clades that thus far remain uncultured. Newly cultured lineages will be further studied to obtain insights into their physiology and ecological roles