Metagenomics commonly refers to the study of genetic materials directly derived from environments without culturing. Several ongoing large-scale metagenomics projects related to human and marine life, as well as pedology studies, have generated enormous amounts of data, posing a key challenge for efficient analysis, as we try to 1) understand microbial organism assemblage under different conditions, 2) compare different communities, and 3) understand how microbial organisms associate with each other and the environment.To address such questions, investigators are using new sequencing technologies, including Sanger, Illumina Solexa, and Roche 454, to sequence either particular genes, called tag sequences, mostly 16S or 18S ribosomal RNA sequences or other conserved genes, or whole metagenome shotgun sequences of all the genetic materials in a given community. In this paper, we review computational methods used for the analysis of tag sequences.
Chang Q, Luan Y, Chen T, Fuhrman JA, Sun F. (2012). Computational methods for the analysis of tag sequences in metagenomics studies. Frontiers in bioscience (Scholar edition), (4)