Conference Rationale and General Purpose
The International Conferences on Microbial Diversity are becoming a consolidated biennial event bringing together agricultural, environmental and food microbiology researchers and professionals from all over the world. Drivers of microbiota establishment and composition in different ecosystems, the focus of the 2017 Conference, are key factors in the vast and fascinating field of microbial diversity.
Historically, microbiology studies were born and developed in laboratory, wherein aseptic technique has allowed isolating pure cultures, which could be identified and characterized. Thus, one gets informed about what that microbial isolate is able to do. Yet, this represents an excessive (although inescapable) simplification of what happens in the real world, wherein microbes interact each other, as well as with other biotic and abiotic ecological factors.
Therefore, understanding drivers of microbial diversity is pivotal to standardize the microbial performances in agricultural, environmental and food applications, thus facing confidently the pressing challenges of preserving environmental resources and nourishing the exponentially-growing world population in healthy and sustainable way.
In this view, different features are worthy of (multidisciplinary) discussion, such as:
- computational description of microbial communities, finally leading to the development of approaches to engineer and manage microbial communities;
- spatial distribution of microorganisms among physical niches, affecting the development and maintenance of a resilient microbial ecosystem;
- re-assemblage of microbial ecosystems.
The Conference will be structured in the following six sessions:
- Anthropogenic pressure as a driver of microbial ecosystems
- Food microbes facing the challenges of healthy human nutrition (co-organized with INRA)
- Re-assembled and driven microbial communities of complex ecosystems
- Breakthroughs in unraveling the microbial consortia through pan-omics
- Biogeography of microbial consortia
- Towards the exploration of new niches as reservoirs of microbial diversity