Genomics Inform.  2013 Sep;11(3):114-120. 10.5808/GI.2013.11.3.114.

Bioprospecting Potential of the Soil Metagenome: Novel Enzymes and Bioactivities

  • 1Department of Applied Biology, Dong-A University, Busan 604-714, Korea.


The microbial diversity in soil ecosystems is higher than in any other microbial ecosystem. The majority of soil microorganisms has not been characterized, because the dominant members have not been readily culturable on standard cultivation media; therefore, the soil ecosystem is a great reservoir for the discovery of novel microbial enzymes and bioactivities. The soil metagenome, the collective microbial genome, could be cloned and sequenced directly from soils to search for novel microbial resources. This review summarizes the microbial diversity in soils and the efforts to search for microbial resources from the soil metagenome, with more emphasis on the potential of bioprospecting metagenomics and recent discoveries.


bioprospecting; novel bioactivities; novel enzymes; soil metagenome
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