Source: Dan Hawkes
Studying a microbial community population (as opposed to an individual microbe) raises problems for metagenomics. The challenges of assembling genes and genomic fragments into meaningful sequence information for an unknown collection of microbes has been likened to putting together a jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the final picture should look like, or even if you have all the pieces.
In a study published on the cover of the April 2015 edition of Genome Research, a team of DOE JGI and Berkeley Lab researchers (including ESD’s Jill Banfield) compared two ways of using the next generation Illumina genomic sequencing machines, one of which—TruSeq Synthetic Long-Reads—produced significantly longer reads than the other. Such a finding could mean closing some of the gaps in microbial identification that exists now.