Using Metagenomics to Connect Microbial Community Biodiversity and Functions
Lucas William Mendes, Lucas Peres Palma Braga, Acacio Aparecido Navarrete, Dennis Goss de Souza, Genivaldo Gueiros Zacarias Silva and Siu Mui Tsai
from: Metagenomics: Current Advances and Emerging Concepts (Edited by: Diana Marco). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2017) Pages: 103-118.
Microbes constitute about a third of the Earth's biomass and are composed by an enormous genetic diversity. In a majority of environments the microbial communities play crucial roles for the ecosystem functioning, where a drastic biodiversity alteration or loss could lead to negative effects on the environment and sustainability. A central goal in microbiome studies is to elucidate the relation between microbial diversity to functions. A better understanding of the relation diversity-function would increase the ability to manipulate that diversity to improve plant and animal health and also setting conservation priorities. The recent advances in genomic methodologies in microbial ecology have provide means to assess highly complex communities in detail, making possible the link between diversity and the functions performed by the microbes. In this work we first explore some advances in bioinformatics tools to connect the microbial community biodiversity to their potential metabolism and after present some examples of how this information can be useful for a better understanding of the microbial role in the environment read more ...