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BIT 477/577: Metagenomics


  • Participants will be introduced to a variety of methods for studying the complex microbial populations that surround us, including applications, limitations, and health and legal implications.
  • Students will apply high-throughput sequencing techniques to mine the genetic diversity of complex populations such as the community of microbes growing happily in a kitchen sink.


  • Introduction to metagenomics and microbial communities
  • Exploiting genome sequencing for drug and biotechnology product discovery
  • Approaches and limitations of metagenomic surveys
  • Analyzing and visualising metagenomic data (R and online tools for sequence analysis)


  • Isolation of DNA from student-selected microbial community and preparation (Q/C) for high-throughput sequencing
  • Assembly and gene annotation of sequence data from microbial community using cloud computing
  • Use of bioinformatics software for analyses of metagenomic surveys
  • Use of cloud-based pipelines for analyzing 16S sequences
  • Use of QIIME for diversity analyses