Metagenomics, Metatranscriptomics, and Metabolomics Approaches for Microbiome Analysis

Evol Bioinform Online. 2016 May 12;12(Suppl 1):5-16. doi: 10.4137/EBO.S36436. eCollection 2016.


Microbiomes are ubiquitous and are found in the ocean, the soil, and in/on other living organisms. Changes in the microbiome can impact the health of the environmental niche in which they reside. In order to learn more about these communities, different approaches based on data from multiple omics have been pursued. Metagenomics produces a taxonomical profile of the sample, metatranscriptomics helps us to obtain a functional profile, and metabolomics completes the picture by determining which byproducts are being released into the environment. Although each approach provides valuable information separately, we show that, when combined, they paint a more comprehensive picture. We conclude with a review of network-based approaches as applied to integrative studies, which we believe holds the key to in-depth understanding of microbiomes.

Keywords: metabolomics; metagenomics; metatranscriptomics; microbiome; networks.

Publication types

  • Review