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Reverse ecology has been developed to study the complex interactions and species composition of microbial communities. Reverse ecology uses genomics to study community ecology with no a priori assumptions about the organisms under consideration. Researchers can use it to infer the ecology of a system directly from genomic information. The reverse ecology framework uses advances in systems biology and genomic metabolic modeling and the system-level analysis of complex biological networks to predict the ecological traits of poorly studied microorganisms, their interactions with other microorganisms, and the ecology of microbial communities. Several studies have applied this approach to investigate the interactions between microorganisms and their surroundings on a large scale.
(Cao et al., 2015) RevEcoR: an R package for the reverse ecology analysis of microbiomes. Bmc Bioinformatics.