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Reference-free and Guild-based Analysis on High Quality-controlled Data in Human Microbiome Studies

July 6, 2022
10:00-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Location: Virtual/Zoom


Register Online. Registration is free but required to receive the Zoom connection information.


Dr. Liping Zhao
Rutgers Center for Microbiome Analysis
Rutgers University Microbiome Program (RUMP)


Dr. Guojun (Gary) Wu
Rutgers Center for Microbiome Analysis
Rutgers University Microbiome Program (RUMP)


Gut microbiome is not the “-ome of all microbial genes” but the “biome of all microbes” living in human gut. As a microbial ecosystem, microbiome is a complex adaptive system in which strains, as the most basic building blocks, organize themselves into a higher-level structure called guilds. Guilds are functional units that consist of strains with diverse taxonomic backgrounds yet work together to contribute to community level emergent functions relevant to human health. Co-abundance analysis of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) of 16S rRNA gene or high-quality draft genomes assembled from metagenomic datasets can help identify key guilds whose ecological behavior correlates with host phenotypes. This workshop will focus on how to apply reference-free and guild-based analysis on high quality microbiome data produced by rigorously controlling the quality of sample collection, DNA extraction and sequencing for microbiome-wide association studies. Different from taxon-based and gene-centric approaches, this strategy does not need any prior databases and can discover ecologically robust microbiome biomarkers. Follow-up mechanistic studies with isolated bacteria corresponding to such biomarkers will lead to new targets and therapies for human diseases.