Biomathematics Emphasis Program at San Diego State University


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Nick Celms

MetaViewer - A Metagenome Visualization Tool

Nick Celms, Rob Edwards

The Line Islands offer a rare opportunity to study human influence on microbial lifeforms, due in part to the location of the islands (they're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean) but also to the varying levels of population across the islands. By collecting samples from sites with variable human exposure, metagenomes were sequenced that can be utilized to understand the evolutionary adjustments humanity imposed upon the microbial community. By creating an application to graph the various metagenomic samples, the areas of interest in the microbial genomes that have occurred with speciation were identified. This tool offers a quick way to view, study, and evaluate metagenomes. This has the value of helping to focus further research more narrowly. Multiple metageomes were sequenced and genomic comparisons were done using BLAST. The beta version of the application serves as a stepping-stone to further biological and computational research. Further development goals with the appl ication include broadening accessibility and applicability. The same approach will answer questions about many other environments, and could benefit other research groups studying microbial metagenomes worldwide.