Environmental metagenomics is the study of organisms in a microbial community based on analyzing the DNA within an environmental sample.
Examples include profiling microbial populations in water samples taken from deep ocean vents or in soil samples from human-made environments like active mineral mines. Environmental metagenomics study data are used for agricultural microbiome analysis, ecological remediation, or other biological investigations.
Environmental metagenomics as a field was extremely limited prior to the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS). NGS provides researchers the capability to profile entire microbial communities from complex samples, discover new organisms, and explore the dynamic nature of microbial populations under changing conditions.
Common NGS methods for environmental metagenomics studies include:
The Earth BioGenome Project is a confederated network of partner organizations and affiliated projects that have a common goal of sequencing and annotating the genomes of all 1.5 million known species of eukaryotes on the planet in 10 years.Read Article
This metagenomic shotgun sequencing workflow enables accurate DNA detection from soil.Read Article
An epic ocean expedition sequenced salt water samples from around the globe to survey plankton diversity in marine ecosystems.Read Interview
Environmental DNA sequencing is a rapidly emerging method for studying biodiversity and monitoring ecosystem changes. For some sample types, using a combination of environmental DNA sequencing approaches can help uncover the full breadth of diversity in an ecological sample, including both bacterial and eukaryotic species.Learn More