A pinboard by
Nidhi Shah

Graduate student, University of Maryland, College Park


A method to detect conclusively whether and when a sequence is similar to a database of sequences

An important task in microbiome study is the assignment of taxonomic labels to sequences in a sample. Most widely used methods for taxonomy assignment compare the sequence in the sample to a database of known sequences. The sequence search software like BLAST gives the list of sequences from the database in the order of the match quality. When the sequences are closely related to sequences in the database, it is easier to assign a taxonomic label based on those sequences, but when sequences more diverse it is tricky to decide which of the top scoring matches are relavant. In this work, we develop a method that can conclusively decide whether and when a sequence is similar to the sequences in the database.