Microbiome Solutions
Solutions for Microbiomes and Metagenomics

Norgen Biotek offers complete solutions for Metagenomics. From sample collection, preservation and DNA isolation all the way to sequencing and analysis services from our highly skilled technicians, let Norgen Biotek be the one-stop shop for your microbiome needs.

Isolation & Normalization
Purify nucleic acids from any sample type
Clean-up and normalize PCR products
Sequencing & Analysis
Comprehensive and complete services
Microbiography about Microbiomes

Frequently asked questions

The NIH Human Microbiome Project defines the microbiome as the collective genomes of the microbes (composed of bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi, protozoa and viruses) that reside inside living beings.[2] The human microbiota consists of the 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells, primarily contained within the gut, but also in the mouth, the skin, the nose, the vagina, etc. The human microbiome consists of the genes these cells harbour.[1]

Various terminologies can create confusion: for example, “microbiota” (the microbial taxa associated with humans) and “microbiome” (the catalog of these microbes and their genes) are often interchanged. In addition, “metagenomics” originally referred to shotgun characterization of total DNA, although now it is increasingly being applied to studies of marker genes such as the 16S rRNA gene.”[3]

We have about 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells.[2] The human gut microbiota consists of many different types of bacteria - over 1000 bacterial species have been identified. However, the presence and prevalence of these bacteria changes person to person, with only approximately 160 species per person per fecal sample. This variance is based on many factors: bacterial infections, antibiotic treatment, lifestyle, surgeries, dietary changes or other health changes.[4]

An analysis of the full gene content and composition of the microbiomes living in the human body (i.e. the metagenome) predicts that there may be more than 8 million unique microbial genes associated with the microbiomes across the human body of healthy adults. When compared to the total number of human genes, this suggests that the genetic contribution of the microbiome to the human supraorganism may be many hundreds of times greater than the genetic contribution from the human genome.[2] This means that the human gut microbiome can have a profound effect on the types of diseases we encounter and how we heal/recover.

Maintaining the integrity of samples collected is a major challenge in microbiome research. From the point of collection, the microbial composition of a sample can begin to change. For this reason, freezing is often considered the gold standard. However, this is not always an option when collections are done off-site or in remote locations. In addition, cold chain transport and storage can be costly and therefore prohibit the number of samples you can collect/analyze. Thus, use of a chemical preservation system is becoming widely accepted by researchers as they try to circumvent bias in data analysis.

One of the main advantages is that the preservative stabilizes the sample from the point of collection to avoid bias introduced from microbial growth. It will also homogenize the sample over time, creating good reproducibility when compared to fresh or frozen samples. In addition, our preservative will lyse the entire sample, inactivating viruses and rendering the sample non-infectious for safer transport and handling. This also ensures that all types of DNA (Bacterial, fungal, viral, host, etc) will be bound during DNA Isolation.

There are many options for isolating DNA from stool for microbiome analysis. Using a preserved stool sample as opposed to a solid sample (frozen/fresh) can help to make DNA isolation quicker, easier and can even increase yield. Common methods for stool DNA Isolation include: Magnetic bead, column-based, 96-well as well as automated options. We offer solutions for isolating stool DNA using most of the methods listed.

Choice of DNA isolation technique is mainly based on user preference. However, for certain applications that require larger DNA fragment size, choice of DNA isolation method will be important. We have generated an application note determining the DNA Molecular Weight from various Norgen DNA Isolation methods that can be helpful in determining the best isolation method.

Collection & Preservation Kits

Assisted Collection

Collect from nasal, buccal, saliva, fecal, skin, surfaces, and more

Isolation & Normalization Kits

Swab DNA Isolation Kit

PCR Normalization Kits

Which Kit Should I Use?

Use the table below to help find what could work for you.

Collection and Preservation Device Cat. Number Preservative Isolation Kit Target
Saliva DNA Collection and Preservation Devices RU49000 Saliva Preservative Saliva DNA Isolation Kit RU45400 or
Microbiome DNA Isolation Kit 64100
Saliva RNA Collection and Preservation Devices RU53800 Saliva RNA Preservative Total RNA Purification Kit 17200 Saliva
Swab Collection and DNA Preservation Kit 45690 Saliva Preservative Saliva DNA Isolation Kit RU45400 or
Microbiome DNA Isolation Kit 64100
Bateria, fungi, skin, fecal, saliva
Stool Nucleic Acid Collection and Preservation Tubes 63700 Stool Preservative Stool DNA Isolation Kit 27600 or
Microbiome DNA Isolation Kit 64100
Fecal DNA Collection and Preservation Mini Tubes 27650 Stool Preservative Stool DNA Isolation Kit 27600 or
Microbiome DNA Isolation Kit 64100
Fecal Swab Collection and Preservation Kit 45670 Stool Preservative Microbiome DNA Isolation Kit 64100 or
Stool DNA Isolation Kit 27600


  1. Turnbaugh PJ, Ley RE, Hamady M, Fraser-Liggett CM, Knight R, Gordon JI. The human microbiome project. Nature. 2007;449:804–810. [PMC free article ] [PubMed ]
  2. Yang J. The Human Microbiome Project: Extending the definition of what constitutes a human . NIH Human Genome Project. 2012.
  3. Ursell LK, Metcalf JL, Parfrey LW, Knight R. Defining the human microbiome. Nutrition reviews. 2012;70 Suppl 1:S38-44. [PMC free article ] [PubMed ]
  1. Rodríguez JM et al. The composition of the gut microbiota throughout life, with an emphasis on early life. Microbial ecology in health and disease. 2015;2;26:26050. [PMC free article ]   [PubMed ]
  2. AB, Kao JY, Young VB. The gut microbiome in health and in disease. Current opinion in gastroenterology. 2015;31(1):69-75. [PMC free article ] [PubMed ]