How quantitative is metabarcoding: a meta-analytical approach

Lamb, Philip D., Hunter, Ewan, Pinnegar, John K., Creer, Simon, Davies, Richard G. and Taylor, Martin I. (2019) How quantitative is metabarcoding: a meta-analytical approach. Molecular Ecology, 28 (2). pp. 420-430. ISSN 0962-1083

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Metabarcoding has been used in a range of ecological applications such as taxonomic assignment, dietary analysis, and the analysis of environmental DNA. However, after a decade of use in these applications there is little consensus on the extent to which proportions of reads generated corresponds to the original proportions of species in a community. To quantify our current understanding we conducted a structured review and meta‐analysis. The analysis suggests that a weak quantitative relationship may exist between the biomass and sequences produced (slope = 0.52 ±0.34, p<0.01), albeit it with a large degree of uncertainty. None of the tested moderators: sequencing platform type, the number of species used in a trial, or the source of DNA were able to explain the variance. Our current understanding of the factors affecting the quantitative performance of metabarcoding is still limited: additional research is required before metabarcoding can be confidently utilised for quantitative applications. Until then, we advocate the inclusion of mock communities when metabarcoding as this facilitates direct assessment of the quantitative ability of any given study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: metabarcoding,biomass,high‐throughput,next‐generation,sequencing,meta‐analysis,metabarcoding,next-generation sequencing,meta-analysis,high-throughput sequencing,genetics,ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1300/1311
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2018 16:30
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2021 02:21
DOI: 10.1111/mec.14920

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