Differential abundance analysis (DAA) is one central statistical task in microbiome data analysis. A robust and powerful DAA tool can help identify highly confident microbial candidates for further biological validation. Current microbiome studies frequently generate correlated samples from different microbiome sampling schemes such as spatial and temporal sampling. In the past decade, a number of DAA tools for correlated microbiome data (DAA-c) have been proposed. Disturbingly, different DAA-c tools could sometimes produce quite discordant results. To recommend the best practice to the field, we performed the first comprehensive evaluation of existing DAA-c tools using real data-based simulations. Overall, the linear model-based methods LinDA, MaAsLin2 and LDM are more robust than methods based on generalized linear models. The LinDA method is the only method that maintains reasonable performance in the presence of strong compositional effects.
This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2023
LinDA: linear models for differential abundance analysis of microbiome compositional data
Abstract Differential abundance analysis is at the core of statistical analysis of microbiome data. The compositional nature of microbiome sequencing data makes false positive control challenging. Here, we show that the compositional effects can be addressed by a simple, yet highly flexible and scalable, approach. The proposed method, LinDA, only requires fitting linear regression models on the centered log-ratio transformed data, and correcting the bias due to compositional effects. We show that LinDA enjoys asymptotic FDR control and can be extended to mixed-effect models for correlated microbiome data. Using simulations and real examples, we demonstrate the effectiveness of LinDA.
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- Genome Biology
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- National Science Foundation
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