Protein signature-based estimation of metagenomic abundances including all domains of life and viruses

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Abstract

MOTIVATION: Metagenome analysis requires tools that can estimate the taxonomic abundances in anonymous sequence data over the whole range of biological entities. Because there is usually no prior knowledge about the data composition, not only all domains of life but also viruses have to be included in taxonomic profiling. Such a full-range approach, however, is difficult to realize owing to the limited coverage of available reference data. In particular, archaea and viruses are generally not well represented by current genome databases.<br /><br />RESULTS: We introduce a novel approach to taxonomic profiling of metagenomes that is based on mixture model analysis of protein signatures. Our results on simulated and real data reveal the difficulties of the existing methods when measuring achaeal or viral abundances and show the overall good profiling performance of the protein-based mixture model. As an application example, we provide a large-scale analysis of data from the Human Microbiome Project. This demonstrates the utility of our method as a first instance profiling tool for a fast estimate of the community structure.<br /><br />AVAILABILITY: http://gobics.de/TaxyPro.<br /><br />SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary Material is available at Bioinformatics online.

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Klingenberg, H., Aßhauer, K. P., Lingner, T., & Meinicke, P. (2013). Protein signature-based estimation of metagenomic abundances including all domains of life and viruses. Bioinformatics, 29(8), 973–980. https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btt077

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