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Goal IV: Develop new technologies and bioinformatics tools necessary to achieve these goals

Advances in DNA sequencing technologies have created a new field of research, called metagenomics, allowing researchers to comprehensively examine microbial communities — even ones that include uncultivable organisms. However, the complexity of and variation between bacterial species requires sophisticated methods to understand the function of bacterial communities.

In close collaboration with other genomics centers, the Broad Institute is pioneering the application of new technologies and developing standards for evaluating the data they generate.

This work includes sequence data from several organisms that have been generated using new sequencing technologies. Data and additional information about the projects can be obtained at

Broad has also developed a growing suite of utilities for analysis of 16S rDNA sequences. They address a range of challenges posed by large scale 16S community profiling such as:

  • Sequence alignment
  • Chimera detection
  • Operational taxonomic unit (OTU) binning
  • 16S sequence assembly

Bioinformatic Resources developed at Broad

In keeping with our mission we make these utilities available to the community in order to promote further innovation and collaborative research efforts. To learn more visit our Microbiome Utilities portal at