ggpicrust2: an R package for PICRUSt2 predicted functional profile analysis and visualization

18 Mar 2023  ·  Chen Yang, Jiahao Mai, Xuan Cao, Aaron Burberry, Fabio Cominelli, Liangliang Zhang ·

Microbiome research is now moving beyond the compositional analysis of microbial taxa in a sample. Increasing evidence from large human microbiome studies suggests that functional consequences of changes in the intestinal microbiome may provide more power for studying their impact on inflammation and immune responses. Although 16S rRNA analysis is one of the most popular and a cost-effective method to profile the microbial compositions, marker-gene sequencing cannot provide direct information about the functional genes that are present in the genomes of community members. Bioinformatic tools have been developed to predict microbiome function with 16S rRNA gene data. Among them, PICRUSt2 has become one of the most popular functional profile prediction tools, which generates community-wide pathway abundances. However, no state-of-art inference tools are available to test the differences in pathway abundances between comparison groups. We have developed ggpicrust2, an R package, to do extensive differential abundance(DA) analyses and provide publishable visualization to highlight the signals.

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