A new pipeline for structural characterization and classification of RNA-Seq microbiome data
Racedo, Sebastian | 2021-07-09
High-throughput sequencing enables the analysis of the composition of numerous biological systems, such as microbial communities. The identification of dependencies within these systems requires the analysis and assimilation of the underlying interaction patterns between all the variables that make up that system. However, this task poses a challenge when considering the compositional nature of the data coming from DNA-sequencing experiments because traditional interaction metrics (e.g., correlation) produce unreliable results when analyzing relative fractions instead of absolute abundances. The compositionality-associated challenges extend to the classification task, as it usually involves the characterization of the interactions between the principal descriptive variables of the datasets. The classification of new samples/patients into binary categories corresponding to dissimilar biological settings or phenotypes (e.g., control and cases) could help researchers in the development of treatments/drugs.
Here, we develop and exemplify a new approach, applicable to compositional data, for the classification of new samples into two groups with different biological settings. We propose a new metric to characterize and quantify the overall correlation structure deviation between these groups and a technique for dimensionality reduction to facilitate graphical representation. We conduct simulation experiments with synthetic data to assess the proposed method’s classification accuracy. Moreover, we illustrate the performance of the proposed approach using Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) count tables obtained through 16S rRNA gene sequencing data from two microbiota experiments. Also, compare our method’s performance with that of two state-of-the-art methods.
Simulation experiments show that our method achieves a classification accuracy equal to or greater than 98% when using synthetic data. Finally, our method outperforms the other classification methods with real datasets from gene sequencing experiments.