Metagenomic applications in environmental monitoring and bioremediation

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Department of Biological Sciences


With the rapid advances in sequencing technology, the cost of sequencing has dramatically dropped and the scale of sequencing projects has increased accordingly. This has provided the opportunity for the routine use of sequencing techniques in the monitoring of environmental microbes. While metagenomic applications have been routinely applied to better understand the ecology and diversity of microbes, their use in environmental monitoring and bioremediation is increasingly common. In this review we seek to provide an overview of some of the metagenomic techniques used in environmental systems biology, addressing their application and limitation. We will also provide several recent examples of the application of metagenomics to bioremediation. We discuss examples where microbial communities have been used to predict the presence and extent of contamination, examples of how metagenomics can be used to characterize the process of natural attenuation by unculturable microbes, as well as examples detailing the use of metagenomics to understand the impact of biostimulation on microbial communities.

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Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology