Studying the human microbiota

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

20 Citations (Scopus)


There are a range of methodologies available to study the human microbiota, ranging from traditional approaches such as culturing through to state-of-the-art developments in next generation DNA sequencing technologies. The advent of molecular techniques in particular has opened up tremendous new avenues for research, and has galvanised interest in the study of our microbial inhabitants. Given the dazzling array of available options, however, it is important to understand the inherent advantages and limitations of each technique so that the best approach can be employed to address the particular research objective. In this chapter we cover some of the most widely used current techniques in human microbiota research and highlight the particular strengths and caveats associated with each approach
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrobiota of the Human Body
Subtitle of host publicationImplications in Health and Disease
EditorsAndreas Schwiertz
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783319312484
ISBN (Print)9783319312460
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Electronic)0065-2598

Bibliographical note

The author, and The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, receives core funding support from the Scottish Government Rural and Environmental Science and Analysis Service (RESAS).


  • microbiota
  • techniques
  • sequencing
  • PCR
  • FISH
  • stable isotope
  • metabolomics
  • proteomics


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