Archaeal Metagenomics: Bioprospecting Novel Genes and Exploring New Concepts
Alexander M. Cardoso, Maysa M. Clementino, Janaína J.V. Cavalcante, Ricardo P. Vieira, Rodolpho M. Albano and Orlando B. Martins
from: Metagenomics: Theory, Methods and Applications (Edited by: Diana Marco). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)
Microorganisms are responsible for sustaining life on Earth but how they do so is still poorly understood. The readily cultured microorganisms represent only 0.1% to 1% of the total microbial communities present in most habitats. Until the advent of metagenomics tools, which allow the investigation of microorganisms that cannot be cultured in the laboratory, we were unable to study the entire genetic makeup from particular environments, thereby losing a fruitful source of microbial biodiversity and functional novelties. Within microbial communities, the archaeas harbour an excellent repertoire of novel genes for biotechnological applications and represent a key step for understanding evolution and to comprehend metabolic pathways. In this chapter, we used selected examples of archaeal metagenomics to illustrate the impact of metagenomics on our current understanding of microbial ecology and its potential implications for future research read more ...