Soil Metagenomics Deciphering the Soil Microbial Gene Pool

Sara Sjöling, Jan Dirk Van Elsas, Francisco Dini Andreote, Jorge L. Mazza Rodrigues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the state of the art of soil metagenomics approaches, addresses both the technical achievements and challenges, and the progress made with respect to our understanding of soil microbial diversity and function. Soil metagenomics provides a unique access route to the genes present in the genomes of uncultured soil organisms, offering a broad spectrum of parameters of soil microbial communities, ranging from single genes to metabolic pathways and/or to entire genome reconstructions. Understanding the interactions between different soil organisms and their surrounding environment, that is, linking microbial communities to their ecological roles and functions is an important task in soil science. Microbial genomes represent large gene pools and thus constitute rich resources for agricultural, pharmaceutical, and industrial biotechnology. Functional or activity-based screening is achieved through selection for a phenotype, which can be an enzymatic activity or a metabolite produced by the library clones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationModern Soil Microbiology, Third Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429607929
ISBN (Print)9781498763530
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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