Leveraging this expanding prospect of metagenomics, we have constructed a robust computational pipeline, “MetaRich”, for analysis, identification and interpretation of metagenomic data in order to assist research in pursuit of discovering biological insights of complex microbial communities. The utility of our pipeline rests in an accurate functional interpretation of a microbial community under study, to address questions regarding their complexity, regulation and reciprocal genetic control within the community and between host and microbiota. Our comprehensive pipeline concentrates on delineating such cross talks within microbial communities and with that of the host, which can further be validated on a bench top, enabling research with opportunities to understand key orchestrating mechanisms.
We have constructed the pipeline by selecting best available algorithm(s), most relevant and updated resources (databases) and literature-derived knowledge, with an objective of creating a state-of-the-art metagenomics analysis tool. By integrating a combination of these resources, along with a thorough benchmark testing and validation, we have built a computational pipeline for sequential and comprehensive analyses of metagenomic data. Our objective behind this robust benchmarking and validation was clearly to pick the most accurate algorithms, but not necessarily the widely used tools. These validations are critical for the functional capacity of all the analyses to be performed involving MetaRich, since the conclusions drawn out of the prediction algorithms are affected by inherent errors. Further, there is a high degree of variability between the available tools with respect to the time required to perform the analyses, with a common perception that the most accurate tools are the most time consuming ones. However, our validations indicated that the most accurate tools are not necessarily the most time consuming ones. This, aided by our strong computing power, have provided us with the added advantage of performing these analyses in a short time, without compromising the accuracy.
The utility of “MetaRich” relies in the top-down approach of metagenomics, along with the established bottom-up approach of classical microbiology and organism-level genomics. Our supplementary pipelines involving several exploratory analyses including pathway analysis, gene set enrichment, variation calling etc., would ensure a comprehensive investigation of any metagenomics data. Our commitment is to take the arduous task of such large scale metagenomics data analysis off your plate, provide you with the best possible interpretation, enabling you to focus on the critical aspect functional validation of the data into translatable research.
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