Whole Genome Sequencing and Metagenomics

An Overview of Whole Genome Sequencing, Metagenomics & Sequencing Methods


Whole genome sequencing is a powerful and comprehensive analysis of an organism’s DNA. Unlocking the encoded information in DNA has led to scientific breakthroughs such as predicting specific genetic disorders in humans and the development of modern forensic testing. Much like a detective analyzing DNA samples from a crime scene, food scientists can use whole genome sequencing to trace bacterial strains to the original contamination source.

Metagenomics takes whole genome sequencing one step further. This process utilizes sequencing methods to gain insights into an entire collective of microorganisms, known as a microbiome. Rather than testing the individual organism itself, metagenomics can reveal invaluable relationships between a microbiome and its environment, such as gut health in humans or soil nutrients on crop farms.

This article, originally written and published by bioMérieux, gives the reader an overview of the following questions: what is genetic sequencing? What is whole genome sequencing? What are the methods and applications of sequencing? Download the full article for the answers to these questions and more.

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Key Takeaways

  • Whole genome sequencing is the comprehensive analysis of a DNA strand resulting in a complete nucleotide sequence that yields invaluable information across many disciplines.
  • Genetic sequencing analysis is used for tracking genetic material that has been passed from one source to another. This can apply to ancestry and medical testing in humans, contamination tracing in food production, and much more.
  • Metagenomics leverages sequencing technology to see the larger picture of a microbiome and its collective microorganisms.

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