There are clearly some big changes planned at NSF for "microbial" research and there seems to be a plan to merge what used to be microbe focused projects into other programs such as NEON, Assembling the Tree of Life, and others. There do appear to be some "Microbe" specific programs that will still be around including a new one "Microbial Systems in the Biosphere" which seems to be replacing/merging with the Microbial Genomes and the Microbial Observatories program.
Anyway ... it seems that some changes are afoot at NSF. Since I missed the talk it is hard to tell what the general plan and big picture is here. If anyone out there went to his talk or have seen other talks of his it would be useful if you could post some impressions here.