Microbes and the communities they form are intrinsically linked to their environment across multiple scales of size. Within a single microbe, networks of molecular interactions process and respond to environmental signals. These responses can elicit meaningful changes in the microbe’s behavior, which in turn can elicit meaningful changes in the collective behavior of the microbial community. Changes in the collective behavior of microbial communities can result in significant environmental changes. The ultimate goal of the ENIGMA SFA research is to generate a quantitative understanding of phenomena across these multiple scales so that scientists can predict and rationally alter the behavioral responses of microbes and their communities to obtain desired environmental goals. ENIGMA research is divided into four components.
ENIGMA Mission Goals Align With the Microbes-to-Biomes (M2B) Effort
“The M2B initiative is designed to explore and reveal the interactions of microbes with one another and with their environment – interactions that are vital to the Earth’s future. To jumpstart the discovery process, M2B is targeting two key systems: the soil-plant biome and the gut microbiome. Research areas include Food and Fuel Production, Carbon Management, Environmental Stewardship, and Health and Environment.”