Although microbes are single-cell organisms, they typically live in communities composed of more than one kind of microbe -- often many different kinds. Considering that life is found in virtually every environmental niche from arctic tundra to parched deserts to boiling sea vents on the deepest ocean floor, the global genetic "catalog" encoding all of life's amazingly diverse capabilities must be astonishing, yet very few details are known.
Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. science.energy.gov/ber/
Genomes to Life Program Roadmap, April 2001, DOE/SC-0036, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. (website)