Next Generation Sequencing – ER

Profile and Identify Dominant Members of a Microbial Community 

Environmental bioremediation is a complex process mediated by the diverse metabolic activities of various indigenous microorganisms functioning in consortia and communities and impacted by site-specific geochemical factors.  Bioremediation mechanisms include metal/radionuclide reduction, degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls, and denitrification to name just a few.

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis is a high-throughput DNA-based technique that offers the advantages of scalability and speed in providing in-depth resolution of microbial community members in contaminated environments.  No other technique yet developed provides more comprehensive characterization of the microbial community in an environmental sample and best answers the question:  Who is there?

 Information  Relevance / Data Interpretation
Bacterial ProfileComparisons of microbial classes between samples can provide insight into differences or changes in microbial communities by contaminated site, over time, or in response to process operations and remedial actions.
IdentificationWhile comparison of the microbial communities at the class level can provide valuable insight, the primary advantage of NGS analysis is the ability to identify a large portion of the microorganisms present in the sample to the genus level for more detailed assessment of the microbial community.  Although function cannot always be predicted from phylogeny, comprehensive identification of the microorganisms present offers unprecedented insight into the processes occurring in the environment.

The pie chart below depicts a microbial community profile from a field sample.  Identification of specific bacteria and their potential roles in environmental bioremediation are highlighted in the call out boxes.