Microbiologists are searching for a universal theory of how bacteria form communities based not on their species but on the roles they play.
A new article in the popular science magazine Quanta has highlighted our work on metabolic preferences and their genomic markers. How can we identify rules of microbial communities? What are the traits that determine success in a community? What level of abstraction is useful when thinking about the many species of bacteria living in a given community? How can we design microbial consortia? These are some of the questions that the research (including our own) described in this article is trying to unravel. Exciting times for microbial ecology!