A great leap forward in microbial ecology

Satoshi Okabe, Mamoru Oshiki, Yoichi Kamagata, Nobuyasu Yamaguchi, Masanori Toyofuku, Yutaka Yawata, Yosuke Tashiro, Nobuhiko Nomura, Hiroyuki Ohta, Moriya Ohkuma, Akira Hiraishi, Kiwamu Minamisawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequence-based molecular techniques emerged in the late 1980s, which completely changed our general view of microbial life. Coincidentally, the Japanese Society of Microbial Ecology (JSME) was founded, and its official journal "Microbes and Environments (M&E)" was launched, in 1985. Thus, the past 25 years have been an exciting and fruitful period for M&E readers and microbiologists as demonstrated by the numerous excellent papers published in M&E. In this minireview, recent progress made in microbial ecology and related fields is summarized, with a special emphasis on 8 landmark areas; the cultivation of uncultured microbes, in situ methods for the assessment of microorganisms and their activities, biofilms, plant microbiology, chemolithotrophic bacteria in early volcanic environments, symbionts of animals and their ecology, wastewater treatment microbiology, and the biodegradation of hazardous organic compounds.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-240
    Number of pages11
    JournalMicrobes and environments
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • 16S rRNA gene-based analysis
    • Biofilms
    • Microbial community and function
    • Symbiotic microorganisms
    • Uncultured microbes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Soil Science
    • Plant Science


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