BIN420 Bioinformatics for Functional Meta-Omics

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Torgeir Rhodén Hvidsten

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:15

Course frequency:

Taught in December 2024.

For the following: Please contact course responsible.

Nominal workload:

Lectures: 10 hours

Computer labs: 25 hours

Individual study: 90 hours

Teaching and exam period:Autumnparallel

About this course

Microbial communities are renowned for the influences they exert in nature as well as industrial applications. They encompass an extraordinary level of species complexity that is invaluable to the overall function of the community. However, our understanding is severely restricted due to the inherent species complexity and the fact that the majority of microbes that exist in nature cannot be cultivated. This course will introduce, explore and assess the vast array of sequencing technology and bioinformatic methods that are available to address these core issues. The course will include an array of contrasting tools to decrypt microbial communities, including those that assess community structure (metagenomics, predictive genome-reconstruction) and function (metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics

Learning outcome


  • Be able to design experiments and select appropriate methods and/or software
  • Be able to explain the microbial population structure within a microbial community


  • Be able to perform and assess assembly and taxonomic binning methods as well as interpret output quality
  • Be able to combine the output from different omics methods to interpret the predicted function of uncultured microorganisms within a microbial community


  • Be able to explain the shortcomings about these types of analyses
  • Intensive one week course and one project assignment with written report. Each course day will consist of:

    • two, one-hour lectures
    • a supervised computer lab (five hours).
  • Canvas
  • Master in bioinformatics, or related topics.

    Must know UNIX at a user-level and familiarity with a programming language (preferably Python and/or R).

    Basic knowledge in microbiology is also required.

  • There will be one project assignment where the students will present their findings in a written assignment (counts 100%).

    Assignment Grading: Passed / Not Passed
  • The reports will be approved by an external examiner.
  • One week of teaching:

    • 2 lectures per day (1 hour each)
    • 1 computer lab per day (5 hours)
  • Special Requirements in Science