Whole genome amplification and next-generation sequencing of single cells have become a powerful approach for studying uncultivated microorganisms that represent 90-99% of all environmental microbes. Single cell sequencing enables not only the identification of microbes but also linking of functions to species, a feat not achievable by metagenomic techniques. Moreover, it allows the analysis of low abundance species that may be missed in community-based analyses. It has also proved very useful in complementing metagenomics in the assembly and binning of single genomes. With the advent of drastically cheaper and higher throughput sequencing technologies, it is expected that single cell sequencing will become a standard tool in studying the genome and transcriptome of microbial communities.
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