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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.


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


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