Metagenomics is the study of microbial communities in their original living places. Metagenome sequencing refers to sequencing the entire genomes of all microbes present in a sample in order to explore taxonomic, functional, and evolutionary aspects.
Metagenomics is microbial community genomics
study of complete microbial communities directly in their natural environments, including
focus on microbial communities (microbiome)
microbial composition, presence and abundance (a sample can contain more than 10,000 species)
functional gene content across all microbes
metagenomics does not require isolation and culturing of individual microbes: 'culture independent'
What is a microbiome?
the complete set of microbes that live in a particular microbial ecosystem: within and on the human body (human microbiome), specific plants (grapevine microbiome), or the oceans (marine microbiome)
includes also the entire collection of microbial genes present in any bacteria of these microbial communities