Metagenomic approaches to assess bacteriophages in various environmental niches

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Hayes, Stephen
Mahony, Jennifer
Nauta, Arjen
van Sinderen, Douwe
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Bacteriophages are ubiquitous and numerous parasites of bacteria and play a critical evolutionary role in virtually every ecosystem, yet our understanding of the extent of the diversity and role of phages remains inadequate for many ecological niches, particularly in cases in which the host is unculturable. During the past 15 years, the emergence of the field of viral metagenomics has drastically enhanced our ability to analyse the so-called viral ‘dark matter’ of the biosphere. Here, we review the evolution of viral metagenomic methodologies, as well as providing an overview of some of the most significant applications and findings in this field of research.
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Hayes, S., Mahony, J., Nauta, A. and van Sinderen, D. (2017) 'Metagenomic Approaches to Assess Bacteriophages in Various Environmental Niches', Viruses, 9, 127 (22pp). doi: 10.3390/v9060127