Tuesday, August 2, 2016: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM
223-224 (America's Center - St. Louis)
This session follows up on the past ILSI North America sponsored, “Rise of the Genomes,” sessions in 2014 and 2015; with a focus on the applications of next generation sequencing methods, including whole genome sequencing for microbial source tracking, RNA-seq and metagenomics. Whole genome sequencing is becoming a routine tool to track foodborne pathogens from the farm to the table to identify and control outbreaks quickly and efficiently. The tool is also increasingly used by the industry to track pathogens in the production environment and characterize beneficial bacteria used in the food production, e.g., starter cultures and probiotics. However, bacteria in the gut are not just associated with foodborne infections. The composition of the gut flora, the gut microbiome, is also related to illness, e.g., cancer and atherosclerosis and the composition of the microbiome is dependent on and may be altered through dietary changes. Next generation sequencing is also used to study the microbiome through metagenomics and RNA-seq can be applied to study how a microorganism thrives in a given niche.
This symposium will include an overview of the application of next generation sequencing, Two talks by representatives of the food industry on their experiences using whole genome sequencing to improve food and food safety, a talk on the use of RNA-seq to elucidate genetic elements and pathways used by pathogens to thrive in food environments, and talks about the use of metagenomics to study the impact of the microbiome on health.