Microbial Ecology

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 242–244 | Cite as

Improved Bacteriophage Genome Data is Necessary for Integrating Viral and Bacterial Ecology

  • Kyle BibbyEmail author
Short Commentary


The recent rise in “omics”-enabled approaches has lead to improved understanding in many areas of microbial ecology. However, despite the importance that viruses play in a broad microbial ecology context, viral ecology remains largely not integrated into high-throughput microbial ecology studies. A fundamental hindrance to the integration of viral ecology into omics-enabled microbial ecology studies is the lack of suitable reference bacteriophage genomes in reference databases—currently, only 0.001 % of bacteriophage diversity is represented in genome sequence databases. This commentary serves to highlight this issue and to promote bacteriophage genome sequencing as a valuable scientific undertaking to both better understand bacteriophage diversity and move towards a more holistic view of microbial ecology.


Viral Diversity Bacteriophage Genome Metagenomic Dataset Bacterial Ecology Viral Metagenomics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computational and Systems BiologyUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical SchoolPittsburghUSA

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