What is Metagenomics

  • study of microbial communities directly in their natural environments, including
    • skin, mouth, and gut samples to understand human related diseases,
    • soil samples to study plant soil-microbe interactions, and
    • marine water samples 
  • metagenomics does not require isolation and culturing of individual microbes: 'culture independent'
  • focus on microbial communities: a sample can contain more than 10,000 species

What is a microbiome?
  • the complete set of microbes that live in a particular microbial ecosystem: within and on the human body (human microbiome), specific plants (grapevine microbiome), or marine areas
  • includes also the entire collection of microbial genes provided by these microbial communities
see also:
FAQ: Human Microbiome, (PDF, Infographic and handout) from the American Academy of Microbiology

Subpages (2): Glossary Publications