A review on the applications of next generation sequencing technologies as applied to food-related microbiome studies

Séamus Fanning, Sinéad Proos, Kieran Jordan, Shabarinath Srikumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The development of next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques has enabled researchers to study and understand the world of microorganisms from broader and deeper perspectives. The contemporary advances in DNA sequencing technologies have not only enabled finer characterization of bacterial genomes but also provided deeper taxonomic identification of complex microbiomes which in its genomic essence is the combined genetic material of the microorganisms inhabiting an environment, whether the environment be a particular body econiche (e.g., human intestinal contents) or a food manufacturing facility econiche (e.g., floor drain). To date, 16S rDNA sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics are the three basic sequencing strategies used in the taxonomic identification and characterization of food-related microbiomes. These sequencing strategies have used different NGS platforms for DNA and RNA sequence identification. Traditionally, 16S rDNA sequencing has played a key role in understanding the taxonomic composition of a food-related microbiome. Recently, metagenomic approaches have resulted in improved understanding of a microbiome by providing a species-level/strain-level characterization. Further, metatranscriptomic approaches have contributed to the functional characterization of the complex interactions between different microbial communities within a single microbiome. Many studies have highlighted the use of NGS techniques in investigating the microbiome of fermented foods. However, the utilization of NGS techniques in studying the microbiome of non-fermented foods are limited. This review provides a brief overview of the advances in DNA sequencing chemistries as the technology progressed from first, next and third generations and highlights how NGS provided a deeper understanding of food-related microbiomes with special focus on non-fermented foods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1829
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume8
Issue numberSEP
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 21 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 16S rDNA
  • Food microbiome
  • Metagenomics
  • Metatranscriptomics
  • Next generation sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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