Updating the metagenomics toolbox

It also offers a variety of analytical and visualization tools to support examination and comparison of datasets.Through partnership with the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA), EBI Metagenomics also has a unique archiving remit.Finally, we have integrated the results of a series of statistical analyses that provide estimations of diversity and sample comparisons.The term ‘metagenomics’ describes the collective analysis of microbial genomes sampled from a particular environment, such as soil, seawater or a human body site.From these assemblies, we have produced a searchable, non-redundant protein database of over 50 million sequences.

In common with analysis platforms such as MG-RAST (18) and IMG/M (19), EBI Metagenomics provides standardised processing and analysis pipelines that allow functional and taxonomic analyses of user-submitted sequences.

It also potentially allows taxonomic binning of contigs, and partial, or even complete, reconstruction of genomes (7,8).

However, many of the best-performing assembly tools require substantial computational resources.

The strategy of pursuing publicly available data has led EBI Metagenomics to grow rapidly over the last 2 years to become one of the world's largest metagenomic data repositories.

It currently houses over 100 000 publicly available datasets, sampled from a wide range of environments, ranging from insect digestive tracts to hydrothermal vents.

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