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Creators/Authors contains: "Espinoza, Josh L."

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  1. Abstract Background

    With the advent of metagenomics, the importance of microorganisms and how their interactions are relevant to ecosystem resilience, sustainability, and human health has become evident. Cataloging and preserving biodiversity is paramount not only for the Earth’s natural systems but also for discovering solutions to challenges that we face as a growing civilization. Metagenomics pertains to the in silico study of all microorganisms within an ecological community in situ,however, many software suites recover only prokaryotes and have limited to no support for viruses and eukaryotes.


    In this study, we introduce theViral Eukaryotic Bacterial Archaeal(VEBA) open-source software suite developed to recover genomes from all domains. To our knowledge,VEBAis the first end-to-end metagenomics suite that can directly recover, quality assess, and classify prokaryotic, eukaryotic, and viral genomes from metagenomes.VEBAimplements a novel iterative binning procedure and hybrid sample-specific/multi-sample framework that yields more genomes than any existing methodology alone.VEBAincludes a consensus microeukaryotic database containing proteins from existing databases to optimize microeukaryotic gene modeling and taxonomic classification.VEBAalso provides a unique clustering-based dereplication strategy allowing for sample-specific genomes and genes to be directly compared across non-overlapping biological samples. Finally,VEBAis the only pipeline that automates the detection of candidate phyla radiation bacteria and implements the appropriate genome quality assessments.VEBA’s capabilities are demonstrated by reanalyzing 3 existing public datasets which recovered a total of 948 MAGs (458 prokaryotic, 8 eukaryotic, and 482 viral) including several uncharacterized organisms and organisms with no public genome representatives.


    TheVEBAsoftware suite allows for the in silico recovery of microorganisms from all domains of life by integrating cutting edge algorithms in novel ways.VEBAfully integrates both end-to-end and task-specific metagenomic analysis in a modular architecture that minimizes dependencies and maximizes productivity. The contributions ofVEBAto the metagenomics community includes seamless end-to-end metagenomics analysis but also provides users with the flexibility to perform specific analytical tasks.VEBAallows for the automation of several metagenomics steps and shows that new information can be recovered from existing datasets.

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  2. Summary

    Next‐generation sequencing technologies have generated, and continue to produce, an increasingly large corpus of biological data. The data generated are inherently compositional as they convey only relative information dependent upon the capacity of the instrument, experimental design and technical bias. There is considerable information to be gained through network analysis by studying the interactions between components within a system. Network theory methods using compositional data are powerful approaches for quantifying relationships between biological components and their relevance to phenotype, environmental conditions or other external variables. However, many of the statistical assumptions used for network analysis are not designed for compositional data and can bias downstream results. In this mini‐review, we illustrate the utility of network theory in biological systems and investigate modern techniques while introducing researchers to frameworks for implementation. We overview (1) compositional data analysis, (2) data transformations and (3) network theory along with insight on a battery of network types including static‐, temporal‐, sample‐specific‐ and differential‐networks. The intention of this mini‐review is not to provide a comprehensive overview of network methods, rather to introduce microbiology researchers to (semi)‐unsupervised data‐driven approaches for inferring latent structures that may give insight into biological phenomena or abstract mechanics of complex systems.

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