Microbiome studies have traditionally fallen into studies of who’s there and what are they doing. To address these questions, biologists often use next-generation sequencing. Sequencing the 16S rRNA reveals the identity of the organisms present while sequencing of all transcripts gives clues into what the microbes are doing.
But aside from sequencing, scientists can also study the microbiome by using engineered genetic tools and reporter microbes. Let’s take a look at a few of these methods below.