Reconstruction of bacterial communities using sparse representation

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 11:30am - 12:30pm
Keller 3-180
Or Zuk (Broad Institute)
Determining the identities and frequencies of species present in a sample is a central problem in metagenomics, with scientific, environmental and clinical implications.

A popular approach to the problem is sequencing the Ribosomal 16s RNA gene in the sample using universal primers, and using variation in the gene's sequence between different species to identify the species present in the sample.

We present a novel framework for community reconstruction, based on sparse representation; while millions of microorganisms are present on earth, with known 16s sequences stored in a database, only a small minority (typically a few hundreds) are likely to be present in any given sample,

We discuss the statistical framework, algorithms used and results in terms of accuracy and species resolution.
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