Metagenomic species profiling using universal phylogenetic marker genes

Shinichi Sunagawa, Daniel R Mende, Georg Zeller, Fernando Izquierdo-Carrasco, Simon A Berger, Jens Roat Kultima, Luis Pedro Coelho, Manimozhiyan Arumugam, Julien Tap, Henrik Bjørn Nielsen, Simon Rasmussen, Søren Brunak, Oluf Pedersen, Francisco Guarner, Willem M de Vos, Jun Wang, Junhua Li, Joël Doré, S Dusko Ehrlich, Alexandros StamatakisPeer Bork

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To quantify known and unknown microorganisms at species-level resolution using shotgun sequencing data, we developed a method that establishes metagenomic operational taxonomic units (mOTUs) based on single-copy phylogenetic marker genes. Applied to 252 human fecal samples, the method revealed that on average 43% of the species abundance and 58% of the richness cannot be captured by current reference genome-based methods. An implementation of the method is available at
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Methods
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1196–1199
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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