Bacterial comparative analysis typically falls into three categories. They are metagenomics, genomics, and transcriptomics. Until recently it was common practice for researchers and laboratories to rely either on third-party services or in-house software. Leveraging recent developments and reliable third-party services, it is now possible to combine outside services with internal software to achieve superior bacterial comparative analysis results in record time. The key is understanding how to combine the services and software for the fastest and most accurate results.
The first step is understanding what types of services are offered for metagenomics, genomics, and transcriptomics and how they can be utilized. The goal of metagenomics is to characterize what species are present in any given environment can understand their complex interactions. Microbial communities range from very simple to extremely complex and are very diverse across a wide range of habitats. NGS or next-generation sequencing has provided researchers with unprecedented views of microbial diversity. A shotgun metagenomics service is particularly useful because it randomly sequences DNA fragments from sample environments which allows researchers to evaluate the microbial diversity and detect species abundance without the individual assembly of microbial genomes.
Genomics relies on whole genome sequencing to generate the most comprehensive data sets available when evaluating genetic features of an individual organism. It is increasingly common for bacterial comparative analysis to rely on whole genome sequencing to conduct outbreak analysis and the study of pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance. Finally, transcriptomics has grown reliant on RNA sequencing as an accurate, sensitive, and cost-effective method to discover and profile mRNA transcripts as well as identified novel genes. To achieve this and end to end solution is the ideal option.
The second step is leveraging available software solutions to interpret, manage, and compare data. In the past, bacterial comparative analysis required researchers to either have a programming language expertise or patch together various Excel and text files. With today’s software, it is easier than ever for researchers to glean all the information they need and complete a bacterial comparative analysis via an easy-to-use software interface.
To get the best results from third-party services and in-house software is to select services and software which are inherently compatible. In fact, many of the best third-party services now deliver data through their own suite of point-and-click software solutions. This type of standalone tool gives researchers the power to directly visualize data, run bacterial comparative analysis, and perform secondary analysis. Not only does this save time but also gives researchers more flexibility and a greater data set to work from. For example, the best software solutions include potentially hundreds of thousands of samples in their reference databases.
The use of bacterial comparative analysis will only continue to grow in the future as services and software become more precise and easier to use. In order to get the best results, it has become more pressing that laboratories an independent researcher select third-party services and in-house software solutions which are not only compatible but complementary to the data they will be working with.