∞ generated and posted on 2020.12.17 ∞

Sequence of the nucleic acid associated with a community of organisms rather than that associated with specific, individual organisms.

Metagenomics came into existance as a combination of shotgun sequencing, high-throughput sequencing, and simply genomics, i.e., the exploration of nucleic acid sequence information taken to its logical, ecological extreme.

The major advantage of metagenomics is that prior culturing of microorganisms is not required and, in fact, can result in a bias in what sequence is obtained.

The major disadvantage of metagenomic analyses is that any and all phenotypic information of the organisms involved, other than membership in the community being analyzed, must be inferred. Furthermore, it can be difficult to identify what specific species of organism a given sequence comes from, unless that species has previously been isolated and sequenced.

The following video is a quick introduction to the processes of metagenomics: