Nanopore and Illumina sequencing reveal different viral populations from human gut samples

Ryan Cook, Andrea Telatin, Shen Yuan Hsieh, Fiona Newberry, Mohammad A. Tariq, Dave J. Baker, Simon R. Carding, Evelien M. Adriaenssens

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The advent of viral metagenomics, or viromics, has improved our knowledge and understanding of global viral diversity. High-throughput sequencing technologies enable explorations of the ecological roles, contributions to host metabolism, and the influence of viruses in various environments, including the human intestinal microbiome. However, bacterial metagenomic studies frequently have the advantage. The adoption of advanced technologies like long-read sequencing has the potential to be transformative in refining viromics and metagenomics. Here, we examined the effectiveness of long-read and hybrid sequencing by comparing Illumina short-read and Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) long-read sequencing technologies and different assembly strategies on recovering viral genomes from human faecal samples. Our findings showed that if a single sequencing technology is to be chosen for virome analysis, Illumina is preferable due to its superior ability to recover fully resolved viral genomes and minimise erroneous genomes. While ONT assemblies were effective in recovering viral diversity, the challenges related to input requirements and the necessity for amplification made it less ideal as a standalone solution. However, using a combined, hybrid approach enabled a more authentic representation of viral diversity to be obtained within samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001236
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMicrobial genomics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2024

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