Shotgun metagenomics is the right tool for obtaining a deep insight into a microbial community. This technology offers a precise strain-level and functional annotation of the microbiome that can facilitate discoveries in pre- and probiotic, or drug treatments.
The name shotgun metagenomics refers to the process in which the total DNA from a sample is fragmented in a random manner followed by next-generation sequencing. This generates primer-independent and unbiased sequencing data which can be analyzed using various reference-based and reference-free methods.
Shotgun metagenomics targets all DNA material in a sample and produces relative abundance information for all genes, functions and organisms. Since it gives a base-pair level resolution of the genome, it makes single nucleotide variant analysis (SNV) possible and enables strain tracking and differentiation between endogenous and incoming strains. Using differential genome coverage principle, we can use shotgun sequencing to derive the growth dynamics information about all species present in a sample.
More in-depth descriptions of the various techniques enabled by shotgun sequencing are discussed under following links: