Next-generation microbiology: from comparative genomics to gene function

Carolin M Kobras, A. K. Fenton, Samuel Sheppard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (SciVal)


Microbiology is at a turning point in its 120-year history. Widespread next-generation sequencing has revealed genetic complexity among bacteria that could hardly have been imagined by pioneers such as Pasteur, Escherich and Koch. This data cascade brings enormous potential to improve our understanding of individual bacterial cells and the genetic basis of phenotype variation. However, this revolution in data science cannot replace established microbiology practices, presenting the challenge of how to integrate these new techniques. Contrasting comparative and functional genomic approaches, we evoke molecular microbiology theory and established practice to present a conceptual framework and practical roadmap for next-generation microbiology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123
JournalGenome Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
CMK and AKF were funded by Medical Research Council (MRC) grant MR/S009280/1. SKS was supported by MRC grants MR/M501608/1 and MR/L015080/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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