Bioinformatics strategies for taxonomy independent binning and visualization of sequences in shotgun metagenomics
Alternative metrics PlumXhttp://hdl.handle.net/11012/69196
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One of main steps in a study of microbial communities is resolving their composition, diversity and function. In the past, these issues were mostly addressed by the use of amplicon sequencing of a target gene because of reasonable price and easier computational postprocessing of the bioinformatic data. With the advancement of sequencing techniques, the main focus shifted to the whole metagenome shotgun sequencing, which allows much more detailed analysis of the metagenomic data, including reconstruction of novel microbial genomes and to gain knowledge about genetic potential and metabolic capacities of whole environments. On the other hand, the output of whole metagenomic shotgun sequencing is mixture of short DNA fragments belonging to various genomes, therefore this approach requires more sophisticated computational algorithms for clustering of related sequences, commonly referred to as sequence binning. There are currently two types of binning methods: taxonomy dependent and taxonomy independent. The first type classifies the DNA fragments by performing a standard homology inference against a reference database, while the latter performs the reference-free binning by applying clustering techniques on features extracted from the sequences. In this review, we describe the strategies within the second approach. Although these strategies do not require prior knowledge, they have higher demands on the length of sequences. Besides their basic principle, an overview of particular methods and tools is provided. Furthermore, the review covers the utilization of the methods in context with the length of sequences and discusses the needs for metagenomic data preprocessing in form of initial assembly prior to binning.
KeywordsMetagenomics, Taxonomy independent, Sequence binning, Genomic signature, Abundance, Visualization
Document typePeer reviewed
SourceComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal. 2016, vol. 15, issue 1, p. 48-55.