• Our aim is to advance our understanding of biological systems,

    ranging from single species to multi-species systems and ecosystems,

    based on data from large-scale bioanalytical methods.

  • We develop, improve and apply

    computational methods

    for the interpretation of molecular information in biology.

  • We establish and analyse

    quantitative mathematical models.


Latest publications

Peripheral blood vessels are a niche for blood-borne meningococci.

Neisseria meningitidis is the causative agent of cerebrospinal meningitis and that of a rapidly progressing fatal septic shock known as purpura fulminans. Meningococcemia is characterized by bacterial adhesion to human endothelial cells of the microvessels. Host specificity has hampered studies on the role of blood vessels colonization in N. meningitidis associated pathogenesis. In this work, using a humanized model of SCID mice allowing the study of bacterial adhesion to human cells in an in vivo context we demonstrate that meningococcal colonization of human blood vessels is a prerequisite to the establishment of sepsis and lethality. To identify the molecular pathways involved in bacterial virulence, we performed transposon insertion site sequencing (Tn-seq) in vivo. Our results demonstrate that 36% of the genes that are important for growth in the blood of mice are dispensable when bacteria colonize human blood vessels, suggesting that human endothelial cells lining the blood vessels are feeding niches for N. meningitidis in vivo. Altogether, our work proposes a new paradigm for meningococcal virulence in which colonization of blood vessels is associated with metabolic adaptation and sustained bacteremia responsible for sepsis and subsequent lethality.

Capel E, Barnier JP, Zomer AL, Bole-Feysot C, Nussbaumer T, Jamet A, Lécuyer H, Euphrasie D, Virion Z, Frapy E, Pélissier P, Join-Lambert O, Rattei T, Bourdoulous S, Nassif X, Coureuil M
2017 - Virulence, in press

Minimum information about a single amplified genome (MISAG) and a metagenome-assembled genome (MIMAG) of bacteria and archaea.

We present two standards developed by the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) for reporting bacterial and archaeal genome sequences. Both are extensions of the Minimum Information about Any (x) Sequence (MIxS). The standards are the Minimum Information about a Single Amplified Genome (MISAG) and the Minimum Information about a Metagenome-Assembled Genome (MIMAG), including, but not limited to, assembly quality, and estimates of genome completeness and contamination. These standards can be used in combination with other GSC checklists, including the Minimum Information about a Genome Sequence (MIGS), Minimum Information about a Metagenomic Sequence (MIMS), and Minimum Information about a Marker Gene Sequence (MIMARKS). Community-wide adoption of MISAG and MIMAG will facilitate more robust comparative genomic analyses of bacterial and archaeal diversity.

Bowers RM, Kyrpides NC, Stepanauskas R, Harmon-Smith M, Doud D, Reddy TBK, Schulz F, Jarett J, Rivers AR, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, Tringe SG, Ivanova NN, Copeland A, Clum A, Becraft ED, Malmstrom RR, Birren B, Podar M, Bork P, Weinstock GM, Garrity GM, Dodsworth JA, Yooseph S, Sutton G, Glöckner FO, Gilbert JA, Nelson WC, Hallam SJ, Jungbluth SP, Ettema TJG, Tighe S, Konstantinidis KT, Liu WT, Baker BJ, Rattei T, Eisen JA, Hedlund B, McMahon KD, Fierer N, Knight R, Finn R, Cochrane G, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Tyson GW, Rinke C, Lapidus A, Meyer F, Yilmaz P, Parks DH, Eren AM, Schriml L, Banfield JF, Hugenholtz P, Woyke T
2017 - Nat. Biotechnol., 8: 725-731

Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation-a benchmark of metagenomics software.

Methods for assembly, taxonomic profiling and binning are key to interpreting metagenome data, but a lack of consensus about benchmarking complicates performance assessment. The Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation (CAMI) challenge has engaged the global developer community to benchmark their programs on highly complex and realistic data sets, generated from ∼700 newly sequenced microorganisms and ∼600 novel viruses and plasmids and representing common experimental setups. Assembly and genome binning programs performed well for species represented by individual genomes but were substantially affected by the presence of related strains. Taxonomic profiling and binning programs were proficient at high taxonomic ranks, with a notable performance decrease below family level. Parameter settings markedly affected performance, underscoring their importance for program reproducibility. The CAMI results highlight current challenges but also provide a roadmap for software selection to answer specific research questions.

Sczyrba A, Hofmann P, Belmann P, Koslicki D, Janssen S, Dröge J, Gregor I, Majda S, Fiedler J, Dahms E, Bremges A, Fritz A, Garrido-Oter R, Jørgensen TS, Shapiro N, Blood PD, Gurevich A, Bai Y, Turaev D, DeMaere MZ, Chikhi R, Nagarajan N, Quince C, Meyer F, Balvočiūtė M, Hansen LH, Sørensen SJ, Chia BKH, Denis B, Froula JL, Wang Z, Egan R, Don Kang D, Cook JJ, Deltel C, Beckstette M, Lemaitre C, Peterlongo P, Rizk G, Lavenier D, Wu YW, Singer SW, Jain C, Strous M, Klingenberg H, Meinicke P, Barton MD, Lingner T, Lin HH, Liao YC, Silva GGZ, Cuevas DA, Edwards RA, Saha S, Piro VC, Renard BY, Pop M, Klenk HP, Göker M, Kyrpides NC, Woyke T, Vorholt JA, Schulze-Lefert P, Rubin EM, Darling AE, Rattei T, McHardy AC
2017 - Nat. Methods, in press

Lecture series

From bedside to bench and back: Pathways linking host-microbe interaction with intestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis.

Alexander Moschen
Medical University Innsbruck
12:00 h
HS2, Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna