Associate Professor Otto X. Cordero, postdoctoral associates Julia Schwartzman and Manoshi Datta, together with research affiliate Tim Enke discover simple assembly rules for polysaccharide-degrading marine microbiomes. The researchers showed that these microbiomes can be decomposed into functional modules, with each module encompassing bacterial species that degrade a specific type of polysaccharide, and an additional module containing species that consume simple metabolic byproducts released by the specialist degraders. These guidelines can help researchers understand the diversity of microbes in the environment, predict community composition, and rationally design ecological systems in the lab. Read more on MIT News.