Sequence first ask questions later?

I am little confused after reading about the metagenomics approach that identified the causative agent for the colony collapse disorder which Deepak and myself blogged about.

After trolling through pubmed , it seems like a number of the honeybee potential pathogens were already quite well known. The Kashmir bee virus and the Israeli acute Paralysis virus were also lurking among bee populations. Was is not then possible to query this with a quick microarray designed following some text and sequence mining .

Or maybe its just faster to just sequence the whole bee and then perform the in vitro RT-PCR experiments which are a little more targeted.

Maybe this does say something about the difficulty of on the fly bioinformatics driven microarray fabrication . Since the closest I have come to a microarray experiment is seeing the images on the web .. I was just wondering aloud..I am hardly an expert

Addendum: There is of course no denying the added benefits of the metagenomic approach . Like the many other conclusions the paper made possible- that mite levels in both CCD and non-CCD samples were similar , that microflora ( like the bacteria in the bee gut) among Australian and American bees are similar . So I guess the question then is ..maybe metagenomics is just so much more direct that its going to be the first choice in all such open ended questions like ” What causes infectious Disease X”

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