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Duodecim. 2010;126(11):1278-85.

[Metagenomics opens up new frontiers in microbiology].

[Article in Finnish]

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Department of Ecology, Earth Sciences Division Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Metagenomics can be described as genomics of all the microorganisms in a community. In recent years it has been applied to the study of microbial communities in soil and in human intestine, as an example. In metagenomics the microbial communities can be linked to their ecological roles and functions. Not only the species present in a sample are detected but the microbial communities are studied based on the whole genetic material. Thus novel genes, proteins and biochemical pathways are discovered. The sequencing technologies have developed rapidly within last years and this has enabled the study of genomes and metagenomes of individual organisms and whole communities, respectively, in reasonable time and with decreasing expenses.

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