Systems biology approach to elucidation of contaminant biodegradation in complex samples – integration of high-resolution analytical and molecular tools
We present here a data-driven systems biology framework for the rational design of biotechnological solutions for contaminated environments with the aim of understanding the interactions and mechanisms underpinning the role of microbial communities in the biodegradation of contaminated soils. We have considered a multi-omics approach that employs novel in silico tools to combine high-throughput sequencing data (16S rRNA amplicons) with chemical data including high-resolution analytical data generated by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC). To assess this approach, we have considered a matching dataset with both microbiological and chemical signatures available for samples from two former manufactured gas plant sites. On this dataset, we applied the numerical procedures informed by ecological principles (predominantly diversity measures) as well as recently published statistical approaches that give discriminatory features and their correlations by maximizing the covariances between multiple datasets on the same sample space. In particular, we have utilized sparse projection to latent discriminant analysis and its derivative to multiple datasets, an N-integration algorithm called DIABLO. Our results indicate microbial community structure dependent on the contaminated environment and unravel promising interactions of some of the microbial species with biodegradation potential. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that incorporates with the microbiome an unprecedented high-level distribution of hydrocarbons obtained through GC × GC.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Challenges in analysis of complex natural mixtures