Volume 32 (2017) Issue 4 Pages 336-343
Shotgun metagenomics is a low biased technology for assessing environmental microbial diversity and function. However, the requirement for a sufficient amount of DNA and the contamination of inhibitors in environmental DNA leads to difficulties in constructing a shotgun metagenomic library. We herein examined metagenomic library construction from subnanogram amounts of input environmental DNA from subarctic surface water and deep-sea sediments using two library construction kits: the KAPA Hyper Prep Kit and Nextera XT DNA Library Preparation Kit, with several modifications. The influence of chemical contaminants associated with these environmental DNA samples on library construction was also investigated. Overall, shotgun metagenomic libraries were constructed from 1 pg to 1 ng of input DNA using both kits without harsh library microbial contamination. However, the libraries constructed from 1 pg of input DNA exhibited larger biases in GC contents, k-mers, or small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene compositions than those constructed from 10 pg to 1 ng DNA. The lower limit of input DNA for low biased library construction in this study was 10 pg. Moreover, we revealed that technology-dependent biases (physical fragmentation and linker ligation vs. tagmentation) were larger than those due to the amount of input DNA.