Genomics, the study of heritability and genes (DNA) in a cell or organism, plays a significant role in the microbiological research of WFSR. A great deal of attention is paid to Genomics in researching bacteria. Virology research also increasingly makes use of Genomics applications.
At Genomics, we work for example on mapping the complete DNA of bacteria: whole genome sequencing (WGS). This research provides a rich store of information. WGS allows the comparison of strains from different food products. Has a genome sequence been encountered previously? Do they have a shared origin?
Whole genome sequencing and metagenomics
Useful genome information is shared in a database and is compared with human data in collaboration with the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment). The information can also be used to predict the functional properties of bacteria, such as resistance to antibiotics.
We carry out WGS on the bacteria listeria, STEC, Salmonella and Campylobacter (‘Big Four’) among others. We also work with metagenomics, a development that allows not only a specific search for a particular bacterium, but also much broader measurement. In this way, Wageningen Food Safety Research pioneers research into safe and reliable food in the future.
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Leading the way in research into safe and reliable food
Below you will find out more about our varied work and how we make a contribution through them to food safety:
Research into the genome sequencing of bacteria is also conducted for listeria, STEC, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Vibrio and B. cereus. Molecular typing is carried out for these bacteria. Molecular typing is a relationship analysis used to determine the origin of an isolate. Determining the relationship (clustering) of these isolates assists in tracing the source.