The microbiota is the sum of microbial element of a given ecosystem which can be ocean, soils or human body site like oral and gut. In the 90’s, scientist studied microbiota using classical microbiology culture-dependent approach. However, the majority of microbes aren’t cultivable yet and trying to understand interaction in a microbial ecosystem is clearly biased without independent culture approach.
Rondon et al published in 2000 for the first time a soil study using the metagenomic approach. Basically, it consist to study all the DNA extracted from an environmental sample. As a result, whereas the number of microbiota study continued to increase, the number of paper using metagenomic took off. The metagenomic approach is the “association” of environmental ecology and genomic.
I always got the feeling from my lecture than this full association was not done between ecologist and genomic people. To test this association, I extracted the 10/04/2011 from the pubmed database all articles with this query : give me article where you find in title or in the abstract the keyword “metagenomic” or “microbiota” since 1991. With this query, I obtained 5193 articles.