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The madness of microbiome: Attempting to find consensus “best practice” for 16S microbiome studies

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Original languageEnglish
Article number e02627-17
Number of pages12
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number8
Early online date2 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


The development and continuous improvement of high-throughput sequencing platforms has stimulated interest in the study of complex microbial communities. Currently, the most popular sequencing approach to study microbial community composition and dynamics is targeted 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding. To prepare samples for sequencing, there are a variety of processing steps, each with the potential to introduce bias at the data analysis stage. In this short review, key information from the literature pertaining to each processing step is
described and consequently, general recommendations for future 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding experiments are made.

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