At the recent International Society for Computational Biology, Latin America held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Dr. Victor Pylro of the Federal University of Vicosa gave a presentation called “Brazilian Microbiome Project: Revealing Unexplored Microbial Diversity – Challenges, Prospects and Standards”.
He made a strong case for the need for research on metagenomics in Brazil, as Brazil has about 20% of the world’s biological diversity, as well as the need for standardization of data analysis. In 2012 Brazil joined the Global Biodiversity Information Facility for open access to biodiversity data, and a Brazilian Microbiome Project has been organized to coordinate and standardize projects in over a dozen institutions in Brazil along with several international institutions in an advisory role.
He presented work from a recent paper, entitled ‘Data analysis for 16S microbial profiling from different benchtop sequencing platforms’ (Journal of Microbiological Methods 107: 30-37 2014, whose abstract states that progress in microbial ecology is “confounded by problems when evaluating results from different sequencing methodologies”, but that they can come to the “same biological conclusion… when stringent sequence quality filtering and accurate clustering algorithms are applied”.
By using the same V4 16S amplicon (515F / 806R) and consistent parameters, they reach consistent results from six different microbial communities. Their freely-available (for research purpose) tools and scripts for 16S profiling on the Ion PGM™ System are made available on their website here. They anticipate standardizing protocols for DNA extraction, 16S rRNA, 18S rRNA and ITS amplification protocols in the future.
Pylro and Tótola et al. “Data analysis for 16S microbial profiling from different benchtop sequencing platforms”, J Microbiol Methods (2014) 107:30-37
Pylro and The Brazilian Microbiome Project Organization Committee et al. “Brazilian Microbiome Project: Revealing the Unexplored Microbial Diversity – Challenges and Prospects” Microbial Ecology (2014) 67:237-241