Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences

J. Anim. Plant Sci. [ISSN 2071 - 7024]

Volume 6 (2): 611 - 622. Published March 29, 2010.

Metagenomics and its application in soil microbial community studies: biotechnological prospects

Shakira Ghazanfar*, **^ , Atiya Azim *, M. Suleri***, M.I. Anjum *, I. Begum*

* Animal Nutrition Program, Animal Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan; **Department of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, National University of Agricultural Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan; ***Department of Medicine, Shifa College of Medicine H-8/4, Islamabad, Pakistan

*Corresponding author: Tel: 0092-03315410182; E-mail:


The use of traditional microbiological culturing methods for the study of microbes has had limited success. It has been estimated that 99% of the microbes can not be cultivated easily. Different problems have been faced by researchers during attempts to culture some microbes. Over the past decade, “metagenomics,” which is culture-independent genomics analysis of microbes, has been developed to overcome these difficulties. Soil is considered to be a complex environment, which is a major reservoir of microbial genetic diversity. Metagenomic approaches promise increased accessibility of the genetic resources contained in the soil. This paper reviews the current knowledge of culture-independent 'metagenomics' techniques and their application to studies of soil microbial communities

Key words: Biotechnology, metagenomics, soil ecosystem,



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ISSN 2071 - 7024

Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences

The Journal of Applied BioSciences