The soil microbiome — from metagenomics to metaphenomics

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Soil microorganisms carry out important processes, including support of plant growth and cycling of carbon and other nutrients. However, the majority of soil microbes have not yet been isolated and their functions are largely unknown. Although metagenomic sequencing reveals microbial identities and functional gene information, it includes DNA from microbes with vastly varying physiological states. Therefore, metagenomics is only predictive of community functional potential. We posit that the next frontier lies in understanding the metaphenome, the product of the combined genetic potential of the microbiome and available resources. Here we describe examples of opportunities towards gaining understanding of the soil metaphenome.

People (2)

Janet Jansson is Chief Scientist for Biology in the Biological Sciences Division and a Laboratory Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Jansson has more than 30 years of experience in microbial ecology. Jansson earned an Soil Microbiology at Colorado State University...

As Integrative Research Scientist, Dr. Hofmockel develops the overall science and technology strategy for EMSL in collaboration with the Deputy Directors. Responsible for EMSL’s Strategic Science Area in collaboration with the Deputy Directors. Is the interface with BER and the user community for...