Caister Academic Press

Microbial Community Profiling: Current Approaches and Future Trends

Angel Valverde, Pieter De Maayer and Don A. Cowan
from: Bioinformatics and Data Analysis in Microbiology (Edited by: Özlem Taştan Bishop). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Microorganisms are vital to the function of all ecosystems. This is largely because they exist in enormous numbers and they have immense cumulative mass and activity. In this chapter we focus on one of the two main families of genomic methods that have been used to examine natural microbial populations and communities: fingerprinting technologies. Firstly, we introduce several fingerprinting techniques and discuss their strengths and limitations. Secondly, we describe the construction of phylogenetic trees and several multivariate and statistical tools used in interpreting the observed diversity patterns in microbial communities. Finally, we discuss some of the long-standing unresolved questions and future perspectives in the field of microbial ecology read more ...
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