Sunday, 11 September 2016

The microbiome of the Kansas prairie

Scientists have untangled a soil metagenome -- all the genetic material recovered from a sample of soil -- more fully than ever before, reconstructing portions of the genomes of 129 species of microbes. While it's only a tiny proportion of the estimated 100,000 species in the sample, it's a leap forward for scientists who have had only a fraction of that success to date.

The sample under scrutiny included more than 250 billion base pairs of genetic data, mostly of microbes, which awaited a scientific team with the chutzpah to try to make sense of it. Jansson's team took on the challenge, unraveling an amount of information approximately equal to all the data streaming through 200 cell phones in a month.
For further details see:

Richard Allen White, Eric M. Bottos, Taniya Roy Chowdhury, Jeremy D. Zucker, Colin J. Brislawn, Carrie D. Nicora, Sarah J. Fansler, Kurt R. Glaesemann, Kevin Glass, Janet K. Jansson. Moleculo Long-Read Sequencing Facilitates Assembly and Genomic Binning from Complex Soil Metagenomes. mSystems, 2016; 1 (3): e00045-16 DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00045-16

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle