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By sequencing it was discovered several previously unknown microbiota and genomes

Metagenomics means the study of microbial DNA directly in their natural living environment. The term generally refers to bacterial genomes in a sample, but it also means the genomes of other microorganisms, such as those of archaea and fungi and also the genomes of the eukaryotes inhabiting the sample of interest. Metagenomics can thus be used to study and sequence multiple organisms simultaneously from a single sample. Jenni Hultman, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), and her colleagues sequenced millions of genomes from tundra soil microbiomes. To do this, they needed the computing power of the Finnish ELIXIR Node CSC – IT Center for Science, because the volume of data in the materials runs in terabytes.

“We have learned what kind of microbes live in the subarctic area and what they do. Processing the data material has taken up an incredible amount of computing power. We discovered several previously unknown microbiota and genomes.”

DNA sequences obtained from the samples have been analysed, aiming to identify new species and their relationships. By analysing RNA sequences, they have learned what the microbiota were doing at the time of sampling.

“What I’m particularly excited about is being able to visit the same sites in wintertime. Now we are able to learn about seasonal variation, that is, what takes place in the microbiota in the summer and winter and how warm autumns contribute to the microbial activity.”

CSC – IT Center for Science

is a non-profit, state-owned company administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture. CSC maintains and develops the state-owned, centralised IT infrastructure.





builds infrastructure in support of the biological sector. It brings together the leading organisations of 21 European countries and the EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory to form a common infrastructure for biological information. CSC – IT Center for Science is the Finnish centre within this infrastructure.