Identifying the microorganisms present within a microbial community is a fundamental step in microbiome research. Multiple tools have been developed to taxonomically classify metagenome samples, and it remains difficult to navigate the analytical choices and uncertainties associated with each method. In this presentation I will discuss some of the common pitfalls in metagenome classification. I will present CCMetagen, a metagenome classifier that achieves high accuracy by assessing all read-mapping possibilities rather than attempting to classify individual reads. I will discuss case-studies where this accuracy has proven to be essential in our research, and discuss when other analytical approaches may be a more practical alternative.
Dr Vanessa R. Marcelino
Research Scientist, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash University
Dr. Vanessa R. Marcelino is an ARC DECRA fellow working at the interface between microbial ecology, evolution and bioinformatics. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2017 focusing on microbial communities associated with coral reefs. She did a postdoc at the University of Sydney where she developed new analytical tools to identify and study human pathogens. Dr. Marcelino joined the Microbiota and Systems Biology team at the Hudson in 2020, where she has been working on identifying microbial signatures of disease. Her research program targets the ecology of the human gut, tackling both applied research towards the development of therapies and microbiome engineering, and fundamental questions in hostmicrobe and microbe-microbe interactions.