• Our aim is to advance our understanding of biological systems,

    ranging from single species to multi-species systems and ecosystems,

    based on data from large-scale bioanalytical methods.

  • We develop, improve and apply

    computational methods

    for the interpretation of molecular information in biology.

  • We establish and analyse

    quantitative mathematical models.


Latest publications

Minimum information about a single amplified genome (MISAG) and a metagenome-assembled genome (MIMAG) of bacteria and archaea.

We present two standards developed by the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) for reporting bacterial and archaeal genome sequences. Both are extensions of the Minimum Information about Any (x) Sequence (MIxS). The standards are the Minimum Information about a Single Amplified Genome (MISAG) and the Minimum Information about a Metagenome-Assembled Genome (MIMAG), including, but not limited to, assembly quality, and estimates of genome completeness and contamination. These standards can be used in combination with other GSC checklists, including the Minimum Information about a Genome Sequence (MIGS), Minimum Information about a Metagenomic Sequence (MIMS), and Minimum Information about a Marker Gene Sequence (MIMARKS). Community-wide adoption of MISAG and MIMAG will facilitate more robust comparative genomic analyses of bacterial and archaeal diversity.

Bowers RM, Kyrpides NC, Stepanauskas R, Harmon-Smith M, Doud D, Reddy TBK, Schulz F, Jarett J, Rivers AR, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, Tringe SG, Ivanova NN, Copeland A, Clum A, Becraft ED, Malmstrom RR, Birren B, Podar M, Bork P, Weinstock GM, Garrity GM, Dodsworth JA, Yooseph S, Sutton G, Glöckner FO, Gilbert JA, Nelson WC, Hallam SJ, Jungbluth SP, Ettema TJG, Tighe S, Konstantinidis KT, Liu WT, Baker BJ, Rattei T, Eisen JA, Hedlund B, McMahon KD, Fierer N, Knight R, Finn R, Cochrane G, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Tyson GW, Rinke C, Lapidus A, Meyer F, Yilmaz P, Parks DH, Eren AM, Schriml L, Banfield JF, Hugenholtz P, Woyke T
2017 - Nat. Biotechnol., 8: 725-731

Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation-a benchmark of metagenomics software.

Methods for assembly, taxonomic profiling and binning are key to interpreting metagenome data, but a lack of consensus about benchmarking complicates performance assessment. The Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation (CAMI) challenge has engaged the global developer community to benchmark their programs on highly complex and realistic data sets, generated from ∼700 newly sequenced microorganisms and ∼600 novel viruses and plasmids and representing common experimental setups. Assembly and genome binning programs performed well for species represented by individual genomes but were substantially affected by the presence of related strains. Taxonomic profiling and binning programs were proficient at high taxonomic ranks, with a notable performance decrease below family level. Parameter settings markedly affected performance, underscoring their importance for program reproducibility. The CAMI results highlight current challenges but also provide a roadmap for software selection to answer specific research questions.

Sczyrba A, Hofmann P, Belmann P, Koslicki D, Janssen S, Dröge J, Gregor I, Majda S, Fiedler J, Dahms E, Bremges A, Fritz A, Garrido-Oter R, Jørgensen TS, Shapiro N, Blood PD, Gurevich A, Bai Y, Turaev D, DeMaere MZ, Chikhi R, Nagarajan N, Quince C, Meyer F, Balvočiūtė M, Hansen LH, Sørensen SJ, Chia BKH, Denis B, Froula JL, Wang Z, Egan R, Don Kang D, Cook JJ, Deltel C, Beckstette M, Lemaitre C, Peterlongo P, Rizk G, Lavenier D, Wu YW, Singer SW, Jain C, Strous M, Klingenberg H, Meinicke P, Barton MD, Lingner T, Lin HH, Liao YC, Silva GGZ, Cuevas DA, Edwards RA, Saha S, Piro VC, Renard BY, Pop M, Klenk HP, Göker M, Kyrpides NC, Woyke T, Vorholt JA, Schulze-Lefert P, Rubin EM, Darling AE, Rattei T, McHardy AC
2017 - Nat. Methods, in press

Sulfonolipids as novel metabolite markers of Alistipes and Odoribacter affected by high-fat diets.

The gut microbiota generates a huge pool of unknown metabolites, and their identification and characterization is a key challenge in metabolomics. However, there are still gaps on the studies of gut microbiota and their chemical structures. In this investigation, an unusual class of bacterial sulfonolipids (SLs) is detected in mouse cecum, which was originally found in environmental microbes. We have performed a detailed molecular level characterization of this class of lipids by combining high-resolution mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography analysis. Eighteen SLs that differ in their capnoid and fatty acid chain compositions were identified. The SL called "sulfobacin B" was isolated, characterized, and was significantly increased in mice fed with high-fat diets. To reveal bacterial producers of SLs, metagenome analysis was acquired and only two bacterial genera, i.e., Alistipes and Odoribacter, were revealed to be responsible for their production. This knowledge enables explaining a part of the molecular complexity introduced by microbes to the mammalian gastrointestinal tract and can be used as chemotaxonomic evidence in gut microbiota.

Walker A, Pfitzner B, Harir M, Schaubeck M, Calasan J, Heinzmann SS, Turaev D, Rattei T, Endesfelder D, Castell WZ, Haller D, Schmid M, Hartmann A, Schmitt-Kopplin P
2017 - Sci Rep, 1: 11047