Evaluation of ddRADseq for reduced representation metagenome sequencing

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Journal Article
bioRxiv, 2017
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Background ‘Who is doing what’ is the ultimate open question in microbiome study. Shotgun metagenomics is often applied to gain knowledge of functional roles for bacteria in microbial communities, where the data can be used to predict protein encoding genes and enzymatic pathways present in the community, sometimes leading to testable hypotheses for microbial function. We describe a method and basic analysis for a metagenomic adaptation of the double digest restriction site associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) protocol for reduced representation metagenome profiling. This technique takes advantage of the sequence specificity of restriction endonucleases to construct an Illumina-compatible sequencing library containing DNA fragments that are between a pair of restriction sites located within close proximity. This results in a reduced sequencing library with coverage breadth that can be tuned by size selection. Results We assessed the performance of the metagenomic ddRADseq approach by applying the method to human stool samples and generating sequence data. We evaluate the extent to which ddRADseq data provides an unbiased reduced representation for microbiome profiling. Conclusion Although ddRADseq does introduce some bias in taxonomic representation, the bias is likely to be small relative to DNA extraction bias. ddRADseq appears feasible and could have value as a tool for metagenome-wide association studies.
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