Four laboratory modules were designed for introductory biology students to explore the field of metagenomics. Students collected microbes from environmental samples, extracted the DNA, and amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Students designed functional metagenomics screens to determine and compare antibiotic resistance profiles among the samples. Bioinformatics tools were used to generate and interpret phylogenetic trees and identify homologous genes. A pretest and posttest were used to assess learning gains, and the results indicated that these modules increased student performance by an average of 22%. Here we describe ways to engage students in metagenomics-related research and provide readers with ideas for how they can start developing metagenomics exercises for their own classrooms.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article