Research using metagenomic sequencing can identify all the microorganisms in a sample and sequence all of the genes in the microorganisms for their functional potential.

Until recently, 16S rRNA sequencing was the standard approach used to analyse the gut microbiome which sequences the DNA from a single gene common to all bacteria, called the 16S ribosomal gene. Studies that use metagenomic sequencing, an advanced type of DNA sequencing, can look at all the genes within a bacterial species. By sequencing these genes, you can see what unidentified species are capable of, even if the species has not been grown in the lab to be studied.

Explore the research articles listed below to learn more about metagenomic sequencing and the insights and further links this method can uncover between the gut microbiome and health and disease.

Science digests and blogs

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Sequencing the microbiome: Are you getting the full story?

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Identify the bacteria within and on your-self

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Shotgun metagenomic sequencing

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Here’s the poop on getting your gut microbiome analysed


Carlos, N., Tang, Y.-W. & Pei, Z.
Pearls and pitfalls of genomics-based microbiome analysis.
Emerging Microbes & Infections 1, e45 (2012). Doi: 10.1038/emi.2012.41

Jovel, J. et al.
Characterization of the gut microbiome using 16S or shotgun metagenomics.
Front. Microbiol. 7, 459 (2016). Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00459

Laudadio, I., et al.
Quantitative assessment of shotgun metagenomics and 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing in the study of human gut microbiome.
Omics 22(4): 248-254. (2018). Doi: 10.1089/omi.2018.0013

Ranjan, R., Rani, A., Metwally, A., McGee, H. S. & Perkins, D. L.
Analysis of the microbiome: advantages of whole genome shotgun versus 16S amplicon sequencing.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 469(4): 967-977. (2016). Doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.12.083