Microbial Community Characterization

Gene-Trac® NGS is a genetic testing tool for tracking all types of microbes at your site across space and time.

Gene-Trac® NGS (next generation sequencing) leverages rapid advances in DNA sequencing technologies that make comprehensive characterization of microbial communities cost-effective and accessible. Gene-Trac® NGS provides a wealth of information about microbial processes in a variety of environments and systems, such as:

  • Contaminant biodegradation in groundwater, soil and sediments

  • Wastewater treatment

  • Anaerobic bioreactors

  • Mine tailings and waste rock

  • Microbially influenced corrosion and biofouling

  • Source tracking

  • Industrial waters and process fluids

  • Composting systems

  • Landfills

  • Consumer products

Gene-Trac® NGS detects virtually all types of microbes, it’s a flexible tool for any project where microbial function is important.

Gene-Trac® NGS helps you understand complex microbial systems by:

  • Providing insight into the overall dynamics of microbial ecosystems by analyzing samples from different times and locations.
  • Tracking the impacts of treatments and amendments.
  • Building a strong understanding of the ecological roles of specific microbes.
  • Identifying novel, and even previously unknown, microbial species that may be impacting an ecosystem, or that have important metabolic functions.

Gene-Trac® NGS Provides Data in Useful and Easy-to-Interpret Formats

The Gene-Trac® NGS process starts with extraction of microbial genomic DNA from samples, followed by sequencing using the Illumina® platform, then we apply data analysis backed by numerous peer-reviewed and published studies, and clearly communicate the results to our clients using industry-leading reports that include:

  • Microbial composition bubble plots that provide the proportion of key microbes and easy comparison between sample

  • Functional analysis that predicts metabolic functions of the microbial community in each sample

  • A semi-quantitative enumeration table for all major microbes in the community

  • Cluster analysis that compares the microbial community composition across multiple samples, making shifts in the community easy to see

Click on the images below to view a sample Gene-Trac® NGS report

Data Analysis to Fuel Action

What differentiates Gene-Trac® NGS from other sequencing services is our approach to data analysis, which includes going further to leverage the power of the data.

Our analysis includes screening the microorganisms at a site against a custom functional analysis database with over 80 microbial functions, such as sulfate respiration, reductive dechlorination, hydrocarbon degradation, methanogenesis, and phototrophy. Understanding these functions helps us create a comprehensive picture of the processes occurring at a site and gives our clients actionable advice. Another major feature of Gene-Trac® NGS is we provide data continuity between sampling events by compiling previous (e.g., baseline) and current data (e.g., post-treatment) in one report. Data compilation allows our customers to watch their “microbial story” develop as the data are built over time. This makes data interpretation and gaining insights on microbial community transitions much easier.

Gene-Trac® NGS data packages include quantitative and functional analysis, plus data compilation over multiple events, which is unique in the industry.

In-Depth Interpretation from Field-Leading Experts

SiREM’s environmental microbiologists are experienced in interpreting NGS data and clearly communicating the characteristics and capabilities of microbial communities already at work in your system. With an optional interpretative addendum, our experts can answer specific questions, relying on your data and the newest thinking in the field to offer you clear conclusions and actionable advice on complex questions.

Let’s get started

Want to get started on getting exponentially greater knowledge about your microbial community at an affordable price?