PICRUSt is a new approach to predicting the entire set of genes in a complex microbial community using only sequences of a single type of gene called a marker gene, combined with evolutionary models and a database of reference genomes. PICRUSt allows us to predict the full metagenomic content of microbial communities using only marker gene surveys, with up to 90% accuracy in the human gut. Thus with PICRUSt researchers can gain new insights into the functional profiles of the thousands of published uncultivated microbial communities for which they only have marker gene surveys.
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