ICME 12 – Daily Report
Welcom and presentations
ICME12 opened with the official presentations by the team of researchers from CNR Verbania hosting the course and the MicrobEco Association.
Dr. Mina Bizic kicked off ICME12 with a general overviw on the Nanopore sequencing technique outlining its advantages, features, and applications.
After questions addressed to Dr. Bizic, Professor Donato Giovannelli spoke about metagenomics in extreme environments and the combined approach between geology and microbiology. Afterwards, students presented themselves and their work projects to the whole group. The first day of ICME12 closed with the week’s full program and a drink!
between metagenomics, Nanopore and bioinformatics
The second day of ICME 12 began with student participants dividing into two groups: while some went to the lab to do shot gun metagenomics analysis with a demonstration of the preparation and operation of the MinIon, others attended an introduction to metagenomics by Dr. Danny Ionescu who spoke to the students about metagenomic applications and the most useful tools to use for bioinformatics analysis.
In the afternoon, researcher Gianluca Corno told participants about the history of Lake Maggiore with a focus on its geography and the climatic, geo-morphological, and ecological characteristics of the area. Next, researcher Andrea Di Cesare presented one of the topics studied at CNR-IRSA: antibiotic resistance and the distribution of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) along with the impact of humans on the phenomenon.
The day ended with an introduction to the Bash programming language by Dr. Tomasa Sbaffi.
The third day of ICME12 was almost entirely focused on 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The hands-on component is a strong feature of ICME12, and the participating students all got involved!
In the morning, Dr. Mina Bizic explained to the participants her research on the Thiovulum bacterium, describing the characteristics of its genome and its adaptability to particular environments such as those in the Movile and Frasassi caves.
In the afternoon, bioinformatic analyses continued with the aim of learning taxonomic assignment.
bioinformatics and Achromatium
On the fourth day of ICME12, metagenomic analyses began and occupied the entire day. Participants listened to a presentation by Danny Ionescu on the giant bacterium Achromatium, recognized as the only heterozygous bacterium known so far.
sequencing techinques and places that need to be studied
Also during the fifth day of ICME12, the participants had to engage with bioinformatics analysis, again thanks to the advice and teachings of Dr. Danny Ionescu who provided them not with the solutions but with the tools to enable the students to build an autonomous workflow.
In the morning, Dr. Mina Bizic presented the history and characteristics of “Lake Grosse Fuchskuhle “, a place studied by Dr. Bizic and Dr. Ionescu who have described its chemical and microbiological peculiarities in several publications.
Dr. Bizic then presented ASLO, a scientific association that promotes public awareness and education about aquatic resources and research.
It was then the turn of Professor Andrea Franzetti from the University of Milan Bicocca. Prof Franzetti explained his scientific approach in short-reads and long-reads sequencing by describing the two techniques with their respective advantages and disadvantages and especially by describing their theory and case studies.
discussions and conclusions
Villa Giulia was the setting for the sixth and final day of ICME12. A beautiful location on Lake Maggiore that welcomed the participants who had to describe and discuss what they learned and did during the week. So ICME12 ends with new ideas, projects and connections and with the promise of a new course made by people who are passionate about science.