Two culture-independent strategies for recovering bacterial genomes both generate accurate information

Published: 2018-10-08


A study enabled by Microbial Single Cell Genomics shows that single-amplified and metagenome-assembled genomes both  generate accurate genome information from uncultivated bacteria. 

Prokaryotes dominate the biosphere and regulate biogeochemical processes essential to all life. Yet, our knowledge about their biology is for the most part limited to the minority that has been successfully cultured. Molecular techniques now allow for obtaining genome sequences of uncultivated prokaryotic taxa, facilitating in depth-analyses that may ultimately improve our understanding of these key organisms.

In a new study led by Jarone Pinhassi at Linneaus University and involving several researchers at SciLifeLab, researchers compared results from two culture-independent strategies for recovering bacterial genomes: singleamplified genomes and metagenome-assembled genomes. The single cell genomics efforts were carried out by Microbial Single Cell Genomics at SciLifeLab.

The results, published in Microbiome, show that among 16 single-amplified genomes analyzed, seven were found to match metagenome-assembled genomes, affiliated with a diverse set of taxa. Notably, genome pairs between the two approaches were nearly identical across overlapping regions.

The strong agreement between the single-amplified and metagenome-assembled genomes emphasizes that both methods generate accurate genome information from uncultivated bacteria. Importantly, this implies that the research questions and the available resources are allowed to determine the selection of genomics approach for microbiome studies.

Read full scientific paper in Microbiomes