Welcome to the home of the Microbial Systems Laboratories. The MSL is housed in the Medical School at the University of Michigan, and is proud to be part of the Host Microbiome Initiative (HMI) and the Center for Microbial Systems. The labs provide services and resources to HMI colleagues as well as collaborators from across campus and beyond. These services include:

Microbial Community Analysis

Support for comparative analysis of microbial communities is provided using the Illumina (MiSeq) platform. In addition to providing DNA isolation and troubleshooting services, the MSL can provide assistance with data analysis. Learn more →

Microbial Cultivation

Cultivation support is available for:

  1. Routine microbiological plating on selective media for bacteria and fungi.
  2. Culturing fastidious, anaerobic and extremely oxygen-sensitive microbes.
  3. Using procedures for microbial enrichment and isolation with molecular biological methods to obtain cultures of as-yet-unexplored genetic and physiological diversity.

Support is provided through facilities, equipment, and training. Learn more →

Germ-Free & Gnotobiotic Mouse Facilities

The germ-free mouse resource at the University of Michigan maintains soft-sided plastic isolators where gnotobiotic mice remain free of all bacteria, exogenous viruses, fungi, and parasites. Germ-free breeding colonies of mice are maintained for monocultural or polymicrobial colonization and other specific studies. Learn more →

Strain Collection Database

StrainDB is a community-searchable database of microbial strains and properties at the University of Michgan. It was created to make it easier to locate and share microbial strains and related information among researchers doing microbiology on campus. To attract records StrainDB was designed for capability of becoming the principal and preferred method of storing and managing strain information for the participating labs (Usergroups).

Please contact the StrainDB authors and administrators Robert Hein and Steve Stoddard (the Tom Schmidt group) at with your requests, problem reports or other feedback. Please contact us if you have records that you would like to bulk-load into StrainDB. This version is a beta-prototype.

Contact to request a StrainDB user account.

Log into the database here