Omics and Bioinformatics. Graphic: Anna Heintz-Buschart/UFZ

Omics and Bioinformatics

When today’s ecologists want to study microbial diversity, they use high-throughput molecular analytics which aim to measure entire genomes, or all transcripts or proteins in a sample. These analytical techniques are collectively named "Omics", or "Meta-omics" when applied to whole microbial communities. Because omics datasets are large, they can only be processed and integrated using computational methods and Bioinformatics.
We provide both wet-lab as well as computational service and support, and develop new workflows to enable researchers to better understand microbial communities of the soil.

Research focus

Sequencing lab

  • The sequencing lab at the soil ecology department is equipped to perform sample processing, nucleic acid extraction, quality control, library preparation and sequencing.
  • The majority of our projects make use of amplicon sequencing technology and the Illumina MiSeq.
  • We are also establishing the Oxford Nanopore technology to profit from long sequencing reads of the Minion sequencer.
MiSeq, Illumina. Photo: Anna Heintz-Buschart/UFZ
MiSeq, Illumina
MinION, Oxford Nanopore Technology. Photo: Anna Heintz-Buschart/UFZ
MinION, Oxford Nanopore Technology


  • Maintenance and updating of user-friendly pipelines for processing amplicon sequencing data on UFZ’s high-performance computing cluster, e.g. dadasnake or DeltaMP.
  • Establishment of integrated multi-omics pipelines for whole metagenome and metatranscriptome shotgun sequencing data, e.g. based on IMP.
  • Numerical ecology, network and statistical analysis of microbial census and ecosystem function, environmental, and spatial data.
  • Training and support for doctoral students and postdocs is offered.

Platform data

  • Location: UFZ Halle
  • Platform type: Sequencing lab and computational support
  • Research groups involved: Scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig