Two Excellent Reviews on Metagenomics

Over the last few days, we have been going through various analysis tools for analysis of metagenomics data sets. The readers working in the same field may find the following two papers useful.

Table 1 of this paper compiles the list of many useful programs.

Metagenomics: Tools and Insights for Analyzing Next-Generation Sequencing Data Derived from Biodiversity Studies

Advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) have allowed significant breakthroughs in microbial ecology studies. This has led to the rapid expansion of research in the field and the establishment of metagenomics, often defined as the analysis of DNA from microbial communities in environmental samples without prior need for culturing. Many metagenomics statistical/computational tools and databases have been developed in order to allow the exploitation of the huge influx of data. In this review article, we provide an overview of the sequencing technologies and how they are uniquely suited to various types of metagenomic studies. We focus on the currently available bioinformatics techniques, tools, and methodologies for performing each individual step of a typical metagenomic dataset analysis. We also provide future trends in the field with respect to tools and technologies currently under development. Moreover, we discuss data management, distribution, and integration tools that are capable of performing comparative metagenomic analyses of multiple datasets using well-established databases, as well as commonly used annotation standards.


The following paper is not a review, but rather benchmarking of a number of analysis tools.

An evaluation of the accuracy and speed of metagenome analysis tools

Metagenome studies are becoming increasingly widespread, yielding important insights into microbial communities covering diverse environments from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to human skin and gut. With the advent of high-throughput sequencing platforms, the use of large scale shotgun sequencing approaches is now commonplace. However, a thorough independent benchmark comparing state-of-the-art metagenome analysis tools is lacking. Here, we present a benchmark where the most widely used tools are tested on complex, realistic data sets. Our results clearly show that the most widely used tools are not necessarily the most accurate, that the most accurate tool is not necessarily the most time consuming, and that there is a high degree of variability between available tools. These findings are important as the conclusions of any metagenomics study are affected by errors in the predicted community composition. Data sets and results are freely available from

Written by M. //

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