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BISMiS-2014; Defining Microbial Diversity in the Genomic Era

Dates : April 7-10th, 2014
Venue : Apex International Hotel
Location : Edinburgh, Scotland

Following on from the highly successful inaugural meeting of Bergey’s International Society for Microbial Systematics (BISMiS) in Beijing, we announce BISMiS-2014. This meeting will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland from April 7th-10th, 2014. The theme of the meeting will be “Defining Microbial Diversity in the Genomic Era”. As more and more complete and draft genome sequences as well as environmental sequences become available and the cost of obtaining these falls rapidly, the microbial systematics community needs to discuss how this information can be used in routine identification, the description of new taxa, and in the delineation of higher level taxa. The meeting will bring together experts and interested parties to present and discuss their ideas and concepts. This meeting represents the only international meeting dedicated solely to those working in microbial systematics at which they can gather, present and discuss their findings.

Sessions will include:
1. Use of genomic sequences in microbial taxonomy
2. Chemotaxonomy in vitro vs. in silco
3. Microbial Systematics in the Classroom
4. Lessons for systematics from metagenomic studies
5. New approaches and new taxa

The organizing committee hopes that you will join us in Edinburgh for what will be an important and ground breaking meeting.


Registration will be open until: Registration Open
Number of participants: A maximum of 100 participants will be accepted to the conference on a first come first served basis.

Notification of acceptance to conference will be sent once registration form and payment are received
Registration fee: Registration prior to Feb 28th , 2014:
  $600 for regular delegates
  $500 for BISMiS members
  $350 for students

Registration after Feb 28th, 2014:
  $650 for regular delegates
  $550 for BISMiS members
  $400 for students
Registration fee includes:
  • Luncheons and coffee breaks
  • Access to all sessions and posters


Monday April 7, 2014
16.00 – 18.00 Registration Desk Opens
18.00 – 18.15 Welcome
F.A. Rainey, University of Alaska, Anchorage, USA
B. Austin, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK
18.15 – 19.00 Keynote: The genomic encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea project and its use for microbial taxonomy
H.-P. Klenk, German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Braunschweig, Germany
19.00 – 21.00 Welcome Mixer

Tuesday April 8, 2014
08.30 – 09.00 Refreshments and registration
09.00 –09.45 Keynote: The state of microbial taxonomy today
W.B. Whitman, University of Georgia, USA
09.45 Session 1 – Use of genomic sequences in microbial taxonomy
Chair: Jongsik Chun
09.45 – 10.30 Keynote: Gene-by-gene approaches to characterising genomic variation in bacterial populations
M.C.J. Maiden, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
10.30 – 10.45 Refreshments [and posters]
10.45 – 11.15 Genetic boundaries to delineate bacteria into natural clusters
L. Tang, Y.-P. Liu, G.-R. Liu and S.-L. Liu*, Harbin Medical University, China
11.15 – 11.45 Average nucleotide identity calculations with taxonomic purposes: case studies at CECT
D.R. Arahal*, T. Lucena, M.A. Ruvira, M.C. Macián, R. Aznar, and M.J. Pujalte, University of Valencia, Spain
11.45 – 12.15 Genome sequence-based taxonomy: I will know it when I see it
M. Krichevsky, Bionomics International, USA
12.15 – 13.30 Lunch [and posters]
13.30 – 14.15 Keynote: Taxono-genomics: an example of genomic data incorporation in bacterial taxonomy equation
P.E. Fournier, Aix-Marseille University, France
14.15 14.45 Whole genome analyses support the taxonomic separation of “Rhodococcus equi” from other rhodococci
V. Sangal*, A.L. Jones, M. Goodfellow, I.C. Sutcliffe, and P.A. Hoskisson, Northumbria University, United Kingdom
14.45 – 15.15 Whole genome sequence analysis of Kosakonia radicincitans, a bacterial strain associated with bacterial wilt diseased banana plant
N.S.M. Suhaimi*, K.-P. Yap, N. Ajam, and K.-L. Thong, University of Malaya, Malaysia
15.15 – 15.30 Refreshments [and posters]
15.30 – 16.00 Microbial genomic taxonomy
A.P.B. Moreira*, G. Amaral, M. Campeao, G. Dias, C. Thompson, and F. Thompson, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
16.00-16.30 Phylo- and comparative genomics of the Pantoea core genome
M. Du Plessis, E.T. Steenkamp, M.P.A. Coetzee, T.A. Coutinho, and S.N. Venter*, University of Pretoria, South Africav
16.30 – 16.45 Molecular-genetic markers in determination of taxonomic position Cyanobacteria from Subsection III
N.V. Velichko and M.S. Emelijanova, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia
16.45 – 17.00 Chairman’s session review and discussion
Jongsik Chun

Wednesday April 9, 2014
08.30 – 09.00 Refreshments [and posters]
09.00 Session 2 – Chemotaxonomy in vitro vs. in silco
Chair: Iain Sutcliffe
09.00 – 09.45 Keynote: The ups and downs of chemotaxonomic analysis for bacterial systematics
M.S. da Costa, University of Coimbra, Portugal
09.45 – 10.15 The dumping ground Arthrobacter: phylogeny and chemotaxonomy
H.-J. Busse, Veterinary Medicine University of Vienna, Austria
10.15 – 10.45 Refreshments [and posters]
10.45 – 11.30 Keynote: In silco: Reconciling computer conjectures with facts
G. Olsen, University of Illinois, USA
11.30 – 12.00 MLSA and polar lipid profile applied to species delineation in the genus Halorubrum
R.R. de la Haba*, P. Corral, C. Sánchez-Porro, A. Makkay, R.T. Papke and A. Ventosa, University of Sevilla, Spain, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA
12.00 – 12.15 Chairman’s session review and discussion
Iain Sutcliffe
12.15 – 13.30 Lunch [and posters]
13.30 – 14.30 BISMiS Business Meeting
All members welcome
14.30 Session 3 – Microbial Systematics in the Classroom Chair: Fred A. Rainey
14.30 – 15.15 Keynote: Microbial systematics in the classroom. Stewardship of taxonomy for the 21st century Paul Lawson, University of Oklahoma, USA
15.15 – 15.30 Refreshments [and posters]
15.30 – 16.00 Shaping the future of taxonomy through learning, teaching and assessment
A.L. Jones, Northumbria University, United Kingdom
16.00 – 16.30 The microbial diversity assessment club for learning systematics in the classroom
K. Jangid*, S. Pawar, N. Marathe, and Y. Shouche, University of Pune Campus, India
16.30 – 17.00 Open discussion on teaching microbial systematics
Speakers and delegates

Thursday April 10, 2014
08.30 – 09.00 Refreshments [and posters]
09.00 Session 4 – Lessons for systematics from metagenomic studies
Chair: Paul Lawson
09.00 – 09.45 Keynote: How many species are out there? Balances after almost 40 years of use of 16S rRNA gene sequence in prokaryote systematics
R. Rosselló-Móra* and P. Yarza, Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avancats, Mallorca, Spain
09.45 – 10.15 “Microbial dark matter” genomes from geothermal springs: progress report and taxonomic perspective
B.P. Hedlund*, S.K. Murugapiran, and J.A. Dodsworth, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA
10.15 – 10.45 Refreshments [and posters]
10.45 – 11.15 Metagenomic studies on hypersaline habitats and their impact on the systematics of halophiles
A. Ventosa*, M.J. León, A.B. Fernández, B. Vera-Gargallo, and C. Sánchez-Porro, University of Sevilla, Spain
11.15 Session 5 – New approaches and new taxa Chair: Martha Trujillo
11.15 – 11.45 EzGenome: a genome database for accurate taxonomic identification of prokaryotes based on genome sequences
S. Park and J. Chun*, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea
11.45 – 12.15 CVTree3: an effective genome-based and alignment-free phylogentic tool with interactive tree display and taxonomic comparison
G.H. Zuo* and B.L. Hao, Fudan University, China
12.15 – 13.30 Lunch [and posters]
13.30 – 14.00 Three-dimensional graph analysis of prokaryotic and eukaryotic groups and mathematical model of evolution of life
E. Pikuta*, A. Lewis, D. Newland, P. Glaze, S. Kline, and R. Merritt, Athens State University, Athens, Alabama, USA
14.00 – 14.30 MALDI-TOF MS, a transformative analytical tool for the characterisation and authentication of microorganisms
H. McGregor*, J.E. Russell, A. Deheer-Graham, R. Culak, T. Gaulton, H.N. Shah, NCTC, Public Health England, United Kingdom
14.30 – 15.00 Problems of describing bacteria from rarely cultured phyla S. Dedysh, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
15.00 – 15.15 Refreshments [and posters]
15.15 – 15.45 Is there still any room for improvement on the systematics of genera of the family Micromonosporaceae?
L.A. Maldonado*, E.T. Quintana, E.O. López-Villegas, and W. Lara, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, México
15.45 – 16.15 A new polyphasic approach for the characterization of the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis: a baseline for a proposal of minimal standards within the genus Francisella
J.G. Ramírez-Paredes*, S. Duodu, E. Soto, C. Öhrman, K.D. Thompson, A. Adams, R.H. Richards, P. Larsson, and D.J. Colquhoun, University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Norway, Ross University, West Indies, Swedish Defense Research Agency, Sweden
16.15 – 16.45 Novel streptomycetes related to the Streptomyces acidiscabies subclade
A. Alejo-Viderique, L.A. Maldonado, R. Felix-Gastelum, G. Herrera-Rodriguez, E. Burgueno-Tapia, and E.T. Quintana*, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, México, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, Universidad de Occidente, México, Edificio AARFS, México
16.45 – 17.00 BIMiS President, overview and closing remarks
Brian Austin

P01 A novel thermophilic anaerobic saccharolytic bacterium isolated from an anaerobic batch digester treating animal manure and rice straw
S. Ma*, Y. Huang, and Y, Deng, Ministry of Agriculture, China
P02 Ferruginibacter profunda sp. nov., Novel members of the family Chitinophagaceae, isolated from deep freshwater sediment of a reservoir
L. Jin*, H.-G. Lee, C.-Y. Ahn, and H.-M. Oh, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology, Republic of Korea
P03 Actinobacterial diversity in high altitude Atacama desert soils and regoliths and its biotechnological potential
H. Idris*, A.T. Bull, M.E. Rateb, M. Jaspars, and M. Goodfellow, Newcastle University, University of Kent, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
P04 Taxonomoic diversity of acidophilic actinobacteria as a roadmap to drug discovery
P. Golinska*, H. Dahm, and M. Goodfellow, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland and Newcastle University, United Kingdom
P05 Molecular diversity of bacteria isolated from groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) rhizosphere and nodules from rainfed Pothwar, Pakistan
R. Khalid*, R. Hayat, U. Amara, and S. Ali, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Pakistan
P06 The gut microbiota of pollinators: an unknown and unexplored treasure chest of biodiversity
J. Praet*, I. Meeus, G. Smaghhe, and P. Vandamme, Ghent University, Belgium
P07 A new thermophilic species of the genus Rubrobacter, R. chenensis from a geothermal spring in Alaska M. Johnson, L. Albuquerque, M.S. da Costa and F.A. Rainey*, University of Alaska, Anchorage, USA and University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
P08 Relationship of whole genome sequence similarity to DNA hybridization in prokaryotes
L. Xun, Y. Huang and W. B. Whitman*, University of Georgia, Athens, USA, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China

Confirmed Speakers

Pierre-Edouard Fournier
Marseille Medical School, France

Pierre-Edouard Fournier has been the director of the French Reference Center for the Diagnosis and Study of Q Fever since January 1st, 2012. He has a doctorate in Cell Biology and Microbiology and an MD in Medical Biology from the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille France. Prior to his current position, Dr. Fournier was a Professor at the University of Rickettsies in the department of Clinical Microbiology, the Microbiology Laboratory and Timone Hospital. His areas of expertise include: rickettsiae and rickettsiose; bartonellae and bartonelloses, coxiella burnetii and Q fever covering epidemio-clinical aspects, bacteriology, taxonomy, diagnosis, genotyping, genomics. In addition, he has his expertise in bacterial genomics (new taxa description) and blood culture negative endocarditis (diagnosis).
Hans-Peter Klenk
Leibniz-Institut DSMZ - German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures

Hans-Peter Klenk received his first academic degree in Biochemistry from Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen (1986), his Ph.D degree from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (1994), the facultas docendi from Darmstadt University of Technology (2004) and the venia legendi for Microbiology from the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina at Braunschweig in 2007. He has been the head of the Microbiology Department at DSMZ since April 2007.

In 1994/95 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, before joining the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR, Rockville, MD, USA) in 1996 as an Associate Investigator. In 1998 he was Laboratory Head of the Genomics Laboratory (G2L) at Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany, and from end of 1998 till end of 2002 Vice-president Genomics and Computational Genetics at Epidauros Biotechnology AG in Bernried, Germany. In 2002 he founded e.gene Biotechnology Ltd., an independent provider of genomics and bioinformatics services. H.-P. Klenk was from 1999-2011 convenor of the Functional Genomics working party of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM), and from 1999-2009 vice chair of the working party Classification in Biology, German section of the Classification Society (GfKl). Since 2009 he serves as Associate Editor of Standards in Genomic Sciences (SIGS), and since April 2010 as a member of the Board of Directors of the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC). He has been (co-)organizer of about 40 national and international scientific conferences and symposia, including Functional Genomics of Microorganisms (Frankfurt 1999), Archaea 2005 (Hohenkammer Castle, Germany), and Microbial Diversity and Metagenomics (Chalkidiki, Greece, 2008). He is an honorary member of the Hungarian Society for Microbiology (2009) and the Association of Microbiologists of India (2010).
Martin C.J. Maiden
Professor of Molecular Epidemiology
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

After an initial training in microbiology at the University of Reading, during which he developed an enduring interest in infectious disease and public health, Martin Maiden’s graduate studies used molecular, genetic, and biochemical techniques to study sugar transport in Escherichia coli with Peter Henderson at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge. He became interested multi-disciplinary and evolutionary approaches to investigating biological problems and, after a two-year MRC Training Fellowship in the same laboratory, he began his career as a principal investigator at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, where he was for nine years, including a sabbatical year in Mark Achtman’s laboratory at the Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik, Berlin. In this period he worked mainly on the biology Neisseria meningitidis and its implications for vaccination. In 1997 he moved to a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship in Oxford and was appointed Professor of Molecular Epidemiology and a Fellow of Hertford College in 2004. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2010 and a Fellow of the Society of Biology in 2012. His current work focuses on exploiting genome sequences to characterize structures within populations of pathogens and relate this to phenotypes of medical importance especially, but not exclusively, working on members of the genera Neisseria and Campylobacter.
Ramon Rossello-Mora
IMDEA, Spain

Ramon Rosselló-Móra is a senior researcher at the Spanish Council (CSIC) leading the Marine Microbiology Group at the IMEDEA in Majorca (Spain). He has a doctorate from the University of the Balearic Islands (Spain) and postdoctorates from the Technical University of Berlin (Germany), Technical University of Munich (Germany), University of the Balearic Islands and the Max Planck Institute of Marine Microbiology in Bremen (Germany). Since 2001, Dr. Rosello-Mora joined CSIC as a permanent staff member. His expertise is in microbial systematics (focusing on the theoretical aspects of the species circumscriptions) and microbial ecology (focusing on extremophiles of hypersaline habitats). In addition, he is the executive editor of the Systematic and Applied Microbiology journal and a member of the Judicial Commission of the ICSP.
Gary Olsen
Department of Microbiology,
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA

Gary Olsen received is Bachelors (1975)and Masters (1976) degrees in Physics from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. in Biophysics (1983) from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO. He did his Postdoctoral work with Norman Pace in Denver, and at the Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Since 1988 he has been in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Illinois, where he is now a Professor.

His research has included several diverse topics including molecular phylogeny, comparative analysis of RNA structure, rRNA-based microbial ecology, origin and evolution of life, transcription in Archaea, and horizontal gene transfer. He has contributed to several sequence analysis programs (e.g., CRITICA and fastDNAml) and databases (e.g., the RDP and the SEED).

His recent work has focused on comparative analysis of genomes, including an interest in better linking the annotated functions in genomes with the known properties of the organisms. Other recent work attempts to better understand the codon usages found in bacterial and archaeal genomes. He is also a member of the newly established NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Illinois.
Milton S. da Costa
Prof. of the Department of Life Sciences,
University of Coimbra, Portugal

Milton S. da Costa obtained a B. S. in Zoology from the University of Arizona (1969), M. S. in Biology from Northern Arizona University (1972) and Ph. D. in Microbiology from Indiana University (1977). In 1978 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of the Department of Zoology. At the University of Coimbra he teaches General Microbiology, Infection and Immunity and Molecular Microbiology within the Department of Life Sciences. His research interest are varied including the diversity of thermophilic bacteria, the microbiology of mineral water sources and the production of compatible solutes by bacteria and archaea.

Currently he serves as the Managing Editor / Member of the Editorial Board for the journals Extremophiles; Systematic and Applied Microbiology; Research in Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology; and Microbial Biotechnology. Over the past 20 years he has been the recipient of 17 Portuguese and 9 European Community grants. Milton has served the microbiological community as President of the Portuguese Society for Microbiology (1996-2002), Vice-President of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies-FEMS (2004-2007), and President of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies-FEMS (2007-2010). He is currently a member of the European Academy of Microbiology-EAM (since 2008) and serves on the Board of the Mediterranean Science Commission-CISEM (2009-2014). Dr. da Costa is the Director of the commercial Microbiological Quality Control Laboratory, Biocant, Cantanhede. Since coming to Coimbra he as supervised seventeen Ph. D. theses, two of which are currently in progress. Milton is the coauthor of over 200 research articles in international peer-reviewed journal and books.

The applied nature of his research has resulted in the awarding of six patents. He has presented 35 invited talks in international congresses including IUMS, FEMS, and Latin American Microbiological Association (ALAM).

Venue & Accommodations

Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, the Grassmarket area is one of the most vibrant, picturesque and convivial areas of the city. A paradise of independent merchants, designers and artisans, the Grassmarket Edinburgh is simply bursting with some of the best shopping, restaurants as well as some of the most vibrant and eclectic bars in Edinburgh. The area's dramatic and intriguing history; well preserved cobbled streets; medieval architecture and inspiring views of Edinburgh Castle help to create an atmosphere unparalleled in Edinburgh, Scotland or indeed Europe.

Apex International Hotel
31-35 Grassmarket
Edinburgh EH1 2HS
T +44 (0)131 300 3456
F +44 (0)131 220 5345

The Apex International Hotel is centrally located, right in the heart of Edinburgh's historic Old Town. It is situated in the Grassmarket area of the city, which is well sign posted and easy to find.

Click here to visit for our free accommodation booking service for delegates of this conference.


Fred A. Rainey University of Alaska Anchorage, USA
Brian Austin University of Sterling, UK

Committee Members:
Jongsik Chun Seoul National University, Korea
Milton S. da Costa University of Coimbra, Portugal
Svetlana N. Dedysh Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Moscow
Mike Goodfellow University of Newcastle, UK
Paul Lawson University of Oklahoma, USA
Iain Sutcliffe Northumbria University, UK
Martha Trujillo Universidad de Salamanca, Spain
Antonio Ventosa University of Sevilla, Spain
William Wade Oueen Mary University of London, UK
William Whitman University of Georgia, USA
Lixin Zhang Institute of Microbiology, Beijing, China

Abstract Submission

Deadline for abstract submission extended to 5pm (Greenwich Mean Time) on Feb 28th, 2014.

All abstracts should be related to the symposium titles:
  • Use of Genomic Sequences in Microbial Taxonomy
  • Minimal Standards for the Description of New Taxa in the Genomic Era
  • Chemotaxonomy in silco vs. in vitro
  • Microbial Systematics in the Classroom
  • Lessons for Systematics from Metagenomic Studies
  • New Taxa, New Approaches

Click here for information on abstract format and instructions

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