A comparison of random sequence reads versus 16S rDNA sequences for estimating the biodiversity of a metagenomic library

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A comparison of random sequence reads versus 16S rDNA sequences for estimating the biodiversity of a metagenomic library

<nobr>Chaysavanh Manichanh1,2,*</nobr>, <nobr>Charles E. Chapple3</nobr>, <nobr>Lionel Frangeul4</nobr>, <nobr>Karine Gloux5</nobr>, <nobr>Roderic Guigo2,3</nobr> and <nobr>Joel Dore5</nobr>

1Digestive System Research Unit, University Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Ciberehd, 2Bioinformatics and Genomics Program, Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, 3Genome Bioinformatics Laboratory, GRIB—IMIM/UPF, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain, 4Genopole, Institut Pasteur, Paris and 5INRA, UR910, F-78352 Jouy-en-Josas, France

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +34 933 160 167; Fax: +34 933 160 019; Email: chaysavanh.manichanh@jouy.inra.fr <script type="text/javascript"></script>

Received December 14, 2007. Revised July 11, 2008. Accepted July 17, 2008.

The construction of metagenomic libraries has permitted the study of microorganisms resistant to isolation and the analysis of 16S rDNA sequences has been used for over two decades to examine bacterial biodiversity. Here, we show that the analysis of random sequence reads (RSRs) instead of 16S is a suitable shortcut to estimate the biodiversity of a bacterial community from metagenomic libraries. We generated 10 010 RSRs from a metagenomic library of microorganisms found in human faecal samples. Then searched them using the program BLASTN against a prokaryotic sequence database to assign a taxon to each RSR. The results were compared with those obtained by screening and analysing the clones containing 16S rDNA sequences in the whole library. We found that the biodiversity observed by RSR analysis is consistent with that obtained by 16S rDNA. We also show that RSRs are suitable to compare the biodiversity between different metagenomic libraries. RSRs can thus provide a good estimate of the biodiversity of a metagenomic library and, as an alternative to 16S, this approach is both faster and cheaper.