From small clone libraries to large next-generation sequencing datasets – the field of community genomics or metagenomics has developed tremendously within the last years. This chapter will summarize some of these developments and will also highlight pitfalls of current metagenomic analyses. It will illustrate the general workflow of a metagenomic study and introduce the three different metagenomic approaches: (1) the random shotgun approach that focuses on the metagenome as a whole, (2) the targeted approach that focuses on metagenomic amplicon sequences, and (3) the function-driven approach that uses heterologous expression of metagenomic DNA fragments to discover novel metabolic functions. Lastly, the chapter will shortly discuss the meta-analysis of gene expression of microbial communities, more precisely metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics.
Applications of Molecular Microbiological Methods, 2014, p. 155-169