Waikel, Rebekah L. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
Waikel, Patricia A. Department of Biological Sciences, Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Methods to study metatranscriptomics
- Metatranscriptomics to identify novel small RNAs
- Soil microbial communities
- Marine communities
- Human gut microbes
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Metatranscriptomics, also known as environmental transcriptomics, is a culture-independent method by which transcriptomes (the collective RNA transcripts) of an entire community of microorganisms are analyzed. Microbial communities include bacteria, archaea, and small eukaryotes. Examples of these communities include soil, marine environments, and the human gut. It is estimated that greater than 80% of microorganisms cannot be cultured using conventional methods. Therefore, metatranscriptomics techniques are employed to circumvent the need for culturing. Metatranscriptome studies of soil and marine microbial communities have revealed niche-specific transcript expression patterns and novel genes, and they have provided insight into the ecological functions of microbes within the microbial community.
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