Advancement and accessibility of next-generation sequencing technologies have influenced microbiome analyses in tremendous ways, opening up applications in the areas of clinical, diagnostic, therapeutic, industrial, and environmental research. However, due to the complexity of 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing analysis, significant challenges can be posed by biases introduced during sample preparation, DNA extraction, PCR amplification, library preparation, sequencing, or data interpretation. Many researchers have published studies on these biases, and leaders in the microbiome field have highlighted the need for standardization.1-4
One of the primary challenges in assay standardization is the limited availability of reference materials. To address these biases and provide a measure of standardization within microbiome research and applications, ATCC has developed a set of mock microbial communities, which includes
lyophilized whole cells or genomic DNA, for use as microbiome reference standards. These standards mimic mixed metagenomics samples and comprise fully sequenced, characterized strains selected on the basis of select phenotypic and genotypic attributes. To further enhance the use of microbiome reference standards and eliminate the bias associated with data analysis, One Codex has developed a data analysis module in collaboration with ATCC that provides simple output in the form of truepositive, relative abundance, and false-negative scores for 16S rRNA community profiling and shotgun metagenomic sequencing.