Metagenomics is a robust, interdisciplinary approach for studyingmicrobial community composition, function, and dynamics.It typically involves a core of molecular biology, microbiology,ecology, statistics, and computational biology. Excitingoutcomes anticipated from these studies include unravelingof complex interactions that characterize the ecologicalmilieu of microbial communities. Diverse habitats fromwhich metagenomes have been reported include human guts,caterpillar guts, thermal vents in oceans, ore deposits, polarcaps, and even soils that adhere to plant roots. Knowledgegenerated from metagenomic projects has tremendous potentialto benefit human health, agriculture, and ecosystemfunctions. This article provides a brief history of technicaladvances in metagenomics, including DNA sequencing methods,and some case studies. A specific example is providedof microbial metagenomes found at the roots of native grassspecies (family Poaceae) that can grow on degraded lands undergoingrevegetation.
Volume 25 | Issue 9