Preparation of Soil Metagenome Libraries and Screening for Gene-Specific Amplicons

Methods Mol Biol. 2022:2397:3-17. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1826-4_1.


Cosmid libraries constructed from environmental metagenome samples are powerful tools for capturing the genomic diversity of complex microbial communities. The large insert size (∼35 kb) of such libraries means they are compatible with downstream expression of large biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). This allows the discovery of previously undescribed natural products that would be inaccessible using traditional culture-based discovery pipelines. Here we describe methods for the construction of a cosmid metagenome library from a soil sample, and the process of screening that library for individual cosmid clones containing aromatic polyketide BGCs using degenerate primers that target the ketosynthase alpha (KSα) gene.

Keywords: Metagenome library; Natural product gene clusters; Polyketide synthase; Sequence-based screening; Synthetic biology; eDNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cosmids
  • Gene Library
  • Metagenome*
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Soil*


  • Soil