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      Fast and Simple Analysis of MiSeq Amplicon Sequencing Data with MetaAmp


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          Microbial community profiling by barcoded 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing currently has many applications in microbial ecology. The low costs of the parallel sequencing of multiplexed samples, combined with the relative ease of data processing and interpretation (compared to shotgun metagenomes) have made this an entry-level approach. Here we present the MetaAmp pipeline for processing of SSU rRNA gene and other non-coding or protein-coding amplicon sequencing data by investigators that are inexperienced with bioinformatics procedures. It accepts single-end or paired-end sequences in fasta or fastq format from various sequencing platforms. It includes read quality control, and merging of forward and reverse reads of paired-end reads. It makes use of UPARSE, Mothur, and the SILVA database for clustering, removal of chimeric reads, taxonomic classification, and generation of diversity metrics. The pipeline has been validated with a mock community of known composition. MetaAmp provides a convenient web interface as well as command line interface. It is freely available at: http://ebg.ucalgary.ca/metaamp. Since its launch 2 years ago, MetaAmp has been used >2,800 times, by many users worldwide.

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          Rethinking Community Assembly through the Lens of Coexistence Theory

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            Insight into biases and sequencing errors for amplicon sequencing with the Illumina MiSeq platform

            With read lengths of currently up to 2 × 300 bp, high throughput and low sequencing costs Illumina's MiSeq is becoming one of the most utilized sequencing platforms worldwide. The platform is manageable and affordable even for smaller labs. This enables quick turnaround on a broad range of applications such as targeted gene sequencing, metagenomics, small genome sequencing and clinical molecular diagnostics. However, Illumina error profiles are still poorly understood and programs are therefore not designed for the idiosyncrasies of Illumina data. A better knowledge of the error patterns is essential for sequence analysis and vital if we are to draw valid conclusions. Studying true genetic variation in a population sample is fundamental for understanding diseases, evolution and origin. We conducted a large study on the error patterns for the MiSeq based on 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing data. We tested state-of-the-art library preparation methods for amplicon sequencing and showed that the library preparation method and the choice of primers are the most significant sources of bias and cause distinct error patterns. Furthermore we tested the efficiency of various error correction strategies and identified quality trimming (Sickle) combined with error correction (BayesHammer) followed by read overlapping (PANDAseq) as the most successful approach, reducing substitution error rates on average by 93%.
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              Analysis, Optimization and Verification of Illumina-Generated 16S rRNA Gene Amplicon Surveys

              The exploration of microbial communities by sequencing 16S rRNA genes has expanded with low-cost, high-throughput sequencing instruments. Illumina-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing has recently gained popularity over 454 pyrosequencing due to its lower costs, higher accuracy and greater throughput. Although recent reports suggest that Illumina and 454 pyrosequencing provide similar beta diversity measures, it remains to be demonstrated that pre-existing 454 pyrosequencing workflows can transfer directly from 454 to Illumina MiSeq sequencing by simply changing the sequencing adapters of the primers. In this study, we modified 454 pyrosequencing primers targeting the V4-V5 hyper-variable regions of the 16S rRNA gene to be compatible with Illumina sequencers. Microbial communities from cows, humans, leeches, mice, sewage, and termites and a mock community were analyzed by 454 and MiSeq sequencing of the V4-V5 region and MiSeq sequencing of the V4 region. Our analysis revealed that reference-based OTU clustering alone introduced biases compared to de novo clustering, preventing certain taxa from being observed in some samples. Based on this we devised and recommend an analysis pipeline that includes read merging, contaminant filtering, and reference-based clustering followed by de novo OTU clustering, which produces diversity measures consistent with de novo OTU clustering analysis. Low levels of dataset contamination with Illumina sequencing were discovered that could affect analyses that require highly sensitive approaches. While moving to Illumina-based sequencing platforms promises to provide deeper insights into the breadth and function of microbial diversity, our results show that care must be taken to ensure that sequencing and processing artifacts do not obscure true microbial diversity.

                Author and article information

                Front Microbiol
                Front Microbiol
                Front. Microbiol.
                Frontiers in Microbiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                03 August 2017
                : 8
                1Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary Calgary, AB, Canada
                2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary Calgary, AB, Canada
                Author notes

                Edited by: John R. Battista, Louisiana State University, United States

                Reviewed by: Jonathan Badger, National Cancer Institute (NIH), United States; Zhuofei Xu, Huazhong Agricultural University, China

                *Correspondence: Xiaoli Dong xdong@ 123456ucalgary.ca

                This article was submitted to Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology

                Copyright © 2017 Dong, Kleiner, Sharp, Thorson, Li, Liu and Strous.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 28, Pages: 8, Words: 5472


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