Genomics Inform.  2013 Sep;11(3):102-113. 10.5808/GI.2013.11.3.102.

Analytical Tools and Databases for Metagenomics in the Next-Generation Sequencing Era

  • 1School of Biological Sciences & Institute of Bioinformatics (BIOMAX), Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
  • 2Chunlab Inc., Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
  • 3Department of Environmental Health, Korea University, Seoul 136-703, Korea.
  • 4Department of Public Health Sciences, Graduate School, Korea University, Seoul 136-703, Korea.
  • 5Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul 136-703, Korea.


Metagenomics has become one of the indispensable tools in microbial ecology for the last few decades, and a new revolution in metagenomic studies is now about to begin, with the help of recent advances of sequencing techniques. The massive data production and substantial cost reduction in next-generation sequencing have led to the rapid growth of metagenomic research both quantitatively and qualitatively. It is evident that metagenomics will be a standard tool for studying the diversity and function of microbes in the near future, as fingerprinting methods did previously. As the speed of data accumulation is accelerating, bioinformatic tools and associated databases for handling those datasets have become more urgent and necessary. To facilitate the bioinformatics analysis of metagenomic data, we review some recent tools and databases that are used widely in this field and give insights into the current challenges and future of metagenomics from a bioinformatics perspective.


computational biology; high-throughput nucleotide sequencing; metagenomics
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