Microorganisms are omnipresent in nature. Diverse communities of microbes thrive in environments ranging from soil, water bodies, human gut, to inhospitable habitats like acid mines and hot springs. Multiple studies based on cultured microbial community has highlighted the importance of these microbes and the role they plan in their ecosystem. Several microbes, however, cannot be cultured or there is loss of microbial diversity when attempts are made to establish microbial community in lab conditions. 16s rRNA and shotgun metagenomics provide a window to look at the microbial genetic diversity and understand microbial interactions. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing allows to sample majority of genes across organisms in a complex sample.
NGS provides deep sequencing coverage that enables to detect low abundance members of the microbial community that are missed by other conventional methods. Metagenomic provides an opportunity to simultaneously explore two aspects of a microbial community: who is there and what are they capable of doing?