Metagenomic analysis of silage
Journal of Visualized Experiments
Copyright © 2017 Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
Metagenomics is defined as the direct analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) purified from environmental samples and enables taxonomic identification of the microbial communities present within them. Two main metagenomic approaches exist; sequencing the 16S rRNA gene coding region, which exhibits sufficient variation between taxa for identification, and shotgun sequencing, in which genomes of the organisms that are present in the sample are analyzed and ascribed to "operational taxonomic units"; species, genera or families depending on the extent of sequencing coverage. In this study, shotgun sequencing was used to analyze the microbial community present in cattle silage and, coupled with a range of bioinformatics tools to quality check and filter the DNA sequence reads, perform taxonomic classification of the microbial populations present within the sampled silage, and achieve functional annotation of the sequences. These methods were employed to identify potentially harmful bacteria that existed within the silage, an indication of silage spoilage. If spoiled silage is not remediated, then upon ingestion it could be potentially fatal to the livestock.
Authors would like to thank Andrew Bird for the silage samples and Audrey Farbos of the Exeter Sequencing Service for her assistance in preparing DNA sequencing libraries. Exeter Sequencing Service and Computational core facilities at the University of Exeter. Medical Research Council Clinical Infrastructure award (MR/M008924/1). Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (WT097835MF), Wellcome Trust Multi User Equipment Award (WT101650MA) and BBSRC LOLA award (BB/K003240/1)
This is the final version of the article. Available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 119, e54936