Argonne National Laboratory

Metagenome Analysis Service Exceeds 100GB

December 10, 2009

Argonne's Metagenomics Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology server, or MG-RAST, has processed more than 100 gigabytes (or 100 gigabases) of samples, making MG-RAST the primary data repository and analysis resource for the metagenomics community.

MG-RAST has more than 2,500 registered data submitters representing more than 450 universities, institutes and companies.

The study of community genomes (metagenomics) is now being applied by researchers worldwide to understand the contributions of microbial organisms to processes like carbon sequestration, carbon cycling and environmental remediation.

Argonne's MG-RAST is a free, fully-automated online service for annotating the metagenome of an environmental sample. It uses a variety of computing resources - Argonne's local clusters, the National Science Foundation-funded TeraGrid and cloud computing - to compare the DNA fragments of more than 3,000 samples submitted to the system against proteins contained in several publicly available databases.

Principal investigators are the Mathematics and Computer Science Division's Robert Edwards and Folker Meyer, who are assisted by Narayan Desai, Mark d'Souza, Elizabeth Glass, Robert Olson, Tobias Paczian, Andreas Wilke and Jared Wilkening.