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MinION Sequencing of colorectal cancer tumour microbiomes – a comparison with amplicon-based and RNA-Sequencing


Date: 6th June 2019 | Source: BioRxiv

Authors: William S Taylor, John Pearson, Allison Miller, Sebastian Schmeier, Frank A Frizelle, Rachel V Purcell.

Recent evidence suggests a role for the gut microbiome in the development and progression of colorectal cancer. In this study we compare MinION sequencing with meta-transcriptomics and amplicon-based sequencing for microbiome analysis of colorectal tumour tissue samples. DNA and RNA were extracted from 11 colorectal tumour samples. RNA-Sequencing, 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and MinION genomic sequencing was carried out and resulting data used as input for taxonomic classification using Kraken2. Taxonomic concordance between the three platforms at different taxonomic levels was tested on a per sample basis. The average number of reads per sample using RNA-Sequencing was more than 129 times that generated using MinION sequencing. However, the average read length of MinION sequences was more than 13 times that of RNA or 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. 16S sequencing was less informative beyond the genus level, and both RNA-Sequencing and MinION sequencing could detect more phyla and genera in the same samples, compared to 16S sequencing. Long-read sequences generated using MinION sequencing can compensate for low numbers of reads for bacterial classification. MinION sequencing can discriminate between bacterial strains and plasmids and shows potential as a tool for microbiome sequencing of colorectal cancers in a clinical setting.

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