Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Virol. 2011 Oct;1(4):289-97. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2011.06.004. Epub 2011 Jul 2.

Exploring the viral world through metagenomics.

Author information

University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, 140 7th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701, USA.


Viral metagenomics, or shotgun sequencing of purified viral particles, has revolutionized the field of environmental virology by allowing the exploration of viral communities in a variety of sample types throughout the biosphere. The introduction of viral metagenomics has demonstrated that dominant viruses in environmental communities are not well-represented by the cultured viruses in existing sequence databases. Viral metagenomic studies have provided insights into viral ecology by elucidating the genetic potential, community structure, and biogeography of environmental viruses. In addition, viral metagenomics has expanded current knowledge of virus-host interactions by uncovering genes that may allow viruses to manipulate their hosts in unexpected ways. The intrinsic potential for virus discovery through viral metagenomics can help advance a wide array of disciplines including evolutionary biology, pathogen surveillance, and biotechnology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center