Community Metabolomics in Environmental Microbiology

Oliver A. H. Jones, Gavin Lear, Aalim M. Welji, Gavin Collins, Christopher Quince

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence from 16S rRNA gene sequences indicates that as yet uncultured microorganisms represent the vast majority of organisms in most environments on earth. However, since many species cannot be cultured within a laboratory setting, these communities are mostly unstudied and consequently there has been little insight into the genetics, physiology and biochemistry of their members. The new field of community metabolomics is about to change this scenario. In the same way as metagenomics indicates the analyses of all DNA from a given sample, community metabolomics looks at the entirety of the thousands of naturally occurring metabolites from the meta-population of a sample of a given environment such as soil or water, and perhaps even air. In this chapter we outline how this new field has recently been applied to generate new insights into these unexplored areas of the bacterial realm in the fields of environmental science and technology, within natural, laboratory and even industrial, settings. Potential future applications in this area are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrobial Metabolomics
Subtitle of host publicationApplications in Clinical, Environmental, and Industrial Microbiology
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783319463261
ISBN (Print)9783319463247
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Bacteria
  • Biofilms
  • Ecosystems biology
  • Metabolomics
  • Metagenomics

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