16S Metagenomics

At NCIMB we use the most accurate sequencing technology to help customers understand and monitor whole bacterial communities from a range of sources and microbiomes, including human, industrial and environmental. High throughput, next generation sequencing allows genetic material recovered directly from samples to be analysed with no requirement for growth.

Bacterial Identification

Why use NCIMB's 16S metagenomics service?

  • We use rapid sequencing technology that helps our customers progress their projects successfully and efficiently
  • We accept a wide range of sample types including environmental and faecal samples.
  • We work hard to make things easy for our customers. If you are new to this kind of analysis, our knowledgeable laboratory experts can guide you through the process, tailoring the service to suit your requirements from enquiry to report.

Our customers

We have undertaken 16S metagenomics analysis for small companies, academic researchers and multinational from a broad mix of industries including probiotics, live biotherapeutics, food & drink and energy.

Applications of 16S metagenomics

16S metagenomics allows whole bacterial communities to be studied, without the time consuming requirement for plating out and isolating colonies. This technique has transformed the understanding of microbial populations, and mankind's relationship with microorganisms. From gut health, to corrosion of structures in marine environments, we have a much better understanding of the microorganisms present and the impact they might be having because of this analytical technique.

Microbiome projects

NCIMB is experienced in undertaking 16S metagenomics for human microbiome projects. Our laboratory scientists are experienced in the analysis of faecal samples, and our new purpose-built laboratories include a ACDP category three lab. Final reports include bar plots for easy comparison of the make up of different samples or changes over time. Interactive sunburst plots can also be provided to allow more detailed examination of individual groups of organisms that occur within the sample.

Bar plot of 16S metagenomics analysis of two gut microbiome samples
Example bar plot showing relative abundance of groups of organsisms within two microbiome samples

Energy sector

Microbial monitoring is an essential step towards safeguarding oil and gas production facilities against the effects of corrosion in key structures such as pipes and mooring chains. 16S metagenomics analysis identifies groups of microorganisms present to give a comprehensive picture of the microbial ecosystem within the oilfield.

Mixed cultures and complex samples from manufacturing environments

Our standard bacterial identification service is for pure isolates. We also accept mixed cultures and other sample types such as waters, slimes and contaminated products. We can plate these out and identify isolates obtained, or our next generation sequencing lab can analyse by 16S metagenomics - this can be a useful method for mixed or complex samples as there is no requirement for growth. Turnaround times are usually 3 - 10 days. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements and the options available.

Understanding natural microbial processes

Natural microbial processes and communities play a key role in the production of many products, from coffee to biogas, yet they are often poorly understood. Our 16S metagenomics services help customers to understand the make up of the microbial communities involved in these processes, paving the way to process and quality optimisation and reproducibility. 16S metagenomics can provide a game-changing insight into the microbial populations within anaerobic digesters, bioreactors and production facilities.

Sending samples for analysis

Please contact us to discuss your requirements prior to shipping samples.

You might also be interested in:

Storage & Patent Deposit

Storage & Patent Deposit

NCIMB provides a patent deposit service under the Budapest Treaty, as well as preservation and storage services for biological material.

Storage & Patent Deposit >
Microbial Identification

Microbial Identification

We have extensive experience of providing fast, accurate identification of bacteria and fungi to cGMP standards.

Microbial Identification Services >
Fungal Identification

Whole Genome Sequencing

Characterise strains, monitor for strain drift and compare closely related strains.

Whole Genome Sequencing >