Next Generation Sequencing, Metagenomes and the Human Microbiome
Karen E. Nelson, Ramana Madupu, Sebastian Szpakowski, Johannes Goll, Konstantinos Krampis and Barbara A. Methé
from: Next-generation Sequencing: Current Technologies and Applications (Edited by: Jianping Xu). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)
Since 2003 there has been an explosion in the quantity of sequencing data generated through the study of whole microbial communities and their genetic content. These metagenomic surveys are accelerating the field of Microbial Ecology, revealing new species, pathways, functional capabilities, lateral gene transfer and enabling studies of microbial evolution. Venter and colleagues embarked on the first large-scale metagenomic study with the surveys of the Sargasso Sea, and the subsequent years have delivered significant improvements in high throughput sequencing technologies, coupled with a reduction of sequencing costs, which collectively has accelerated the rate and ease with which a range of environments are being studied with this approach. The end result has been a democratization of sequencing and now both large and small labs as well as individual investigators are capable of high-throughput metagenomic studies on any environment of choice. However, management, analysis and interpretation of these data sets remain an ongoing challenge requiring continual improvement as technologies progress read more ...