Comparing microarrays and next-generation sequencing technologies for microbial ecology research

Trends Biotechnol. 2010 Jun;28(6):291-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2010.03.001. Epub 2010 Apr 8.


Recent advances in molecular biology have resulted in the application of DNA microarrays and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to the field of microbial ecology. This review aims to examine the strengths and weaknesses of each of the methodologies, including depth and ease of analysis, throughput and cost-effectiveness. It also intends to highlight the optimal application of each of the individual technologies toward the study of a particular environment and identify potential synergies between the two main technologies, whereby both sample number and coverage can be maximized. We suggest that the efficient use of microarray and NGS technologies will allow researchers to advance the field of microbial ecology, and importantly, improve our understanding of the role of microorganisms in their various environments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ecology / economics
  • Ecology / methods*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Microarray Analysis / economics
  • Microarray Analysis / methods*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / economics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*