Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 16230 Views Jun 20, 2018
Plant roots associate with a wide diversity of bacteria and archaea across the root-soil spectrum. The rhizosphere microbiota, the communities of microbes in the soil adjacent to the root, can contain up to 10 billion bacterial cells per gram of soil (Raynaud and Nunan, 2014) and can play important roles for the fitness of the host plant. Subsets of the rhizospheric microbiota can colonize the root surface (rhizoplane) and the root interior (endosphere), forming an intimate relationship with the host plant. Compositional analysis of these communities is important to develop tools in order to manipulate root-associated microbiota for increased crop productivity. Due to the reduced cost and increasing throughput of next-generation sequencing, major advances in deciphering these communities have recently been achieved, mainly through the use of amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Here we first present a protocol for dissecting the microbiota from various root compartments, developed using rice as a model. We next present a method for amplifying fragments of the 16S rRNA gene using a dual index approach. Finally, we present a simple workflow for analyzing the resulting sequencing data to make ecological inferences.
0 Q&A 9504 Views Dec 5, 2017
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) offers unparalleled resolution for untargeted organism detection and characterization. However, the majority of NGS analysis programs require users to be proficient in programming and command-line interfaces. EDGE bioinformatics was developed to offer scientists with little to no bioinformatics expertise a point-and-click platform for analyzing sequencing data in a rapid and reproducible manner. EDGE (Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise) v1.0 released in January 2017, is an intuitive web-based bioinformatics platform engineered for the analysis of microbial and metagenomic NGS-based data (Li et al., 2017). The EDGE bioinformatics suite combines vetted publicly available tools, and tracks settings to ensure reliable and reproducible analysis workflows. To execute the EDGE workflow, only raw sequencing reads and a project ID are necessary. Users can access in-house data, or run analyses on samples deposited in Sequence Read Archive. Default settings offer a robust first-glance and are often sufficient for novice users. All analyses are modular; users can easily turn workflows on/off, and modify parameters to cater to project needs. Results are compiled and available for download in a PDF-formatted report containing publication quality figures. We caution that interpreting results still requires in-depth scientific understanding, however report visuals are often informative, even to novice users.

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