Metagenomics is a powerful approach to study the genes and genomes of all microbes in an ecological niche where the microbial DNA from an entire sample gets extracted and sequenced. From such data, the presence of genes of both culturable and unculturable microbes can be deduced and even entire genomes can be reconstructed.
Accessing this previously untapped source of genetic and biochemical diversity is extremely attractive in the context of microbial cell factories. It allows the recovery of new pathways, genes and chemistries from the unknown - dramatically expanding the biochemical abilities of the microbial production platforms.
The section is headed by Professor Søren Brunak. See interview below: