Chinese researchers develop algorithm to speed up understanding of microbiome functions

January 25, 2021 |

In China, a new algorithm may reduce the need for expensive, time-consuming whole-genome sequencing computations to understand how a microbiome functions. A team led by JING Gongchao of the Qingdao Institute of BioEnergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and SU Xiaoquan of Qingdao University, published their approach, called Meta-Apo, on Jan. 6 in BMC Genomics. 

Researchers routinely sequence samples of microbial communities found on human skin, in human guts, and in the environment to understand what genes they contain with the ultimate goal of understanding how they function. 

Meta-Apo matches pairs of data from whole-genome sequencing and 16S amplicons – each pair is sequenced via both methods – to teach new 16S amplicon samples to better recognize gene function. The results are much more consistent with the whole-genome sequencing results. 

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