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Bioconductor workflow for microbiome data analysis: from raw reads to community analyses [version 1; referees: 2 approved]

By Ben J. Callahan, Kris Sankaran, Julia A. Fukuyama, Paul J. McMurdie and Susan P. Holmes


High-throughput sequencing of PCR-amplified taxonomic markers (like the 16S rRNA gene) has enabled a new level of analysis of complex bacterial communities known as microbiomes. Many tools exist to quantify and compare abundance levels or microbial composition of communities in different conditions. The sequencing reads have to be denoised and assigned to the closest taxa from a reference database. Common approaches use a notion of 97% similarity and normalize the data by subsampling to equalize library sizes. In this paper, we show that statistical models allow more accurate abundance estimates. By providing a complete workflow in R, we enable the user to do sophisticated downstream statistical analyses, including both parameteric and nonparametric methods. We provide examples of using the R packages dada2, phyloseq, DESeq2, ggplot2 and vegan to filter, visualize and test microbiome data. We also provide examples of supervised analyses using random forests, partial least squares and linear models as well as nonparametric testing using community networks and the ggnetwork package

Topics: Bioinformatics, Microbial Evolution & Genomics, Protein Chemistry & Proteomics, Statistical Methodologies & Health Informatics, Medicine, R, Biology (General), QH301-705.5
Publisher: F1000 Research Ltd
Year: 2016
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