Adversarial and variational autoencoders improve metagenomic binning

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Assembly of reads from metagenomic samples is a hard problem, often resulting in highly fragmented genome assemblies. Metagenomic binning allows us to reconstruct genomes by re-grouping the sequences by their organism of origin, thus representing a crucial processing step when exploring the biological diversity of metagenomic samples. Here we present Adversarial Autoencoders for Metagenomics Binning (AAMB), an ensemble deep learning approach that integrates sequence co-abundances and tetranucleotide frequencies into a common denoised space that enables precise clustering of sequences into microbial genomes. When benchmarked, AAMB presented similar or better results compared with the state-of-the-art reference-free binner VAMB, reconstructing ~7% more near-complete (NC) genomes across simulated and real data. In addition, genomes reconstructed using AAMB had higher completeness and greater taxonomic diversity compared with VAMB. Finally, we implemented a pipeline Integrating VAMB and AAMB that enabled improved binning, recovering 20% and 29% more simulated and real NC genomes, respectively, compared to VAMB, with moderate additional runtime.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1073
JournalCommunications Biology
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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