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Soil is one of the most complex and challenging environments for microbiologists. In fact, although it contains the largest microbial diversity on the planet, the majority of these microbes are still uncharacterized and represent an enormous unexplored reservoir of genetic and metabolic diversity. Metagenomics, the study of the entire genome of soil biota, currently represents a powerful tool for assessing the diversity of complex microbial communities, providing access to a number of new species, genes or novel molecules that are relevant for biotechnology and agricultural applications. In this paper, the onset of new high-throughput metagenomic approaches and new perspectives in soil microbial ecology and data handling are discussed. (c) 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Stefano Mocali, Anna Benedetti. Exploring research frontiers in microbiology: the challenge of metagenomics in soil microbiology. Research in microbiology. 2010 Jul-Aug;161(6):497-505

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PMID: 20452420

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