Genomics Inform.  2013 Sep;11(3):121-128. 10.5808/GI.2013.11.3.121.

Comparative Viral Metagenomics of Environmental Samples from Korea

  • 1Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Science and Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea.


The introduction of metagenomics into the field of virology has facilitated the exploration of viral communities in various natural habitats. Understanding the viral ecology of a variety of sample types throughout the biosphere is important per se, but it also has potential applications in clinical and diagnostic virology. However, the procedures used by viral metagenomics may produce technical errors, such as amplification bias, while public viral databases are very limited, which may hamper the determination of the viral diversity in samples. This review considers the current state of viral metagenomics, based on examples from Korean viral metagenomic studies-i.e., rice paddy soil, fermented foods, human gut, seawater, and the near-surface atmosphere. Viral metagenomics has become widespread due to various methodological developments, and much attention has been focused on studies that consider the intrinsic role of viruses that interact with their hosts.


bacteriophages; DNA sequence analysis; DNA viruses; environment; metagenomics
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