High-throughput sequencing also allows microbial communities to be investigated en masse, thus giving rise to metagenomic analyses. DOE has played a critical and pioneering role in these studies, which are far beyond what, until only recently, was deemed possible. The newest generation of technologies enables the sequencing of a significant fraction of genomes in a simple microbial community. However, more-complex communities and rare genomes within a community still are not amenable to systematic characterization. In addition, capturing metagenomic profiles at multiple time points during environmental transitions is critical for adequately monitoring the genomic changes associated with an environmental perturbation. As the wealth of omics data grows, better tools are needed for data management, analysis, and integration. Although improvements in sequencing and analytical technologies can reveal the presence of low abundance organisms, these capabilities need to be extended to the single-cell level.
Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. science.energy.gov/ber/
US DOE. 2009. New Frontiers in Characterizing Biological Systems: Report from the May 2009 Workshop, DOE/SC-0121, US Department of Energy Office of Science. (website)