The main aim of this interest group is to address the gaps faced in microbial lipidomics, as well as to build a scientific community to exchange the latest developments in the field of microbial lipids. Millions of microbes exist in Nature and they play crucial roles in the ecosystems and human health and disease. It is increasingly appreciated that microbial lipids are functionally important with emerging discovery of novel lipids and functions. However, the analysis of microbial lipids remains a challenge given the diversity of lipids which vary between organism species and strains, and overcoming this is instrumental for understanding microbial lipid functions and other applications.
We will first identify the main bottlenecks in microbial lipid analysis and accurate annotation. For instance, there is currently no consensus of what is the exact lipidome even for the well characterized model bacterium, Escherichia coli. Moreover, as the diversity of microbes and hence lipid chemistry is too diverse, each organism will require its own reference. We will focus our efforts through an interlaboratory study involving multiple groups worldwide to establish a consensus lipidome of a specific panel of microbial species/ strains of relevance to human health. Through the unified efforts, we aim to provide recommendations for microbial lipids analysis and reporting of accurate annotation. This will seed future contributions for additional microbial species from the research community. We will also interface with the other interest groups in ILS to achieve these goals.
Jennifer Brodbelt, USA
Kelly Hines, USA
Phil Whitfeld, UK
Justine Bertrand-Michel, France