The Wrighton Lab is a microbiome research group located at Colorado State University.
What is microbiome research?
the study of microorganisms, their genomes, and their surrounding environmental conditions
Every object and living thing from soil grain, to plants, to the human body is home to millions of bacteria and other microbial cells that are invisible. In these microscopic ecosystems, microorganisms wage war, compete for space and nutrients, and form metabolic partnerships. Our laboratory explores microbial communities across a range of ecosystems, including 2,500 meter deep fractured shales, rivers, soils, and human guts.
Our laboratory’s approach
scaling genomes to ecosystem function
Our research is application based, with the ultimate goal to use microbiome knowledge to better manage ecosystem function. Our research can result in enhanced soil health, improved predictions of greenhouse gas emissions, optimized energy recovery from hydrocarbon systems, and stabilized human gastrointestinal function. Our laboratory uses a combination of genomics enabled technologies (green) to inventory microbial gene content and expression. Together with chemical data from the same samples, we create a profile of microbially catalyzed reactions that contribute to critical ecosystem processes (blue).
We validate these multi-omic enabled hypotheses with laboratory experiments (orange). Lastly, in collaboration with other colleagues, we synthesize this information into quantitative predictive and flux balance models (pink) to better forecast the stability and impacts of microbial metabolism under changing environmental conditions.