DNA metabarcoding and introduction to metagenomics

Course details

In this 22-hour course, participants will be introduced to the most important computational tools used to analyse Illumina DNA metabarcoding and metagenomic datasets.

Participants will learn how to carry out the main DNA metabarcoding data analyses, from pre-processing and quality control of the raw data to the construction of OTU/ASV tables and taxon assignment. The course will also have an introductory metagenomics module in which the most relevant points of a metagenomics study will be discussed. The participants will learn how to analyse a dataset to determine the taxonomic and functional composition of metagenomic samples.

The course will combine theory with hands-on exercises using real datasets.

Language: English or Spanish.

Number of places available: 18.

Instructors: Dr. Neus Marí-Mena, Antón Vizcaíno, and Dr. Jorge Doña.

Target audience and requirements

Master students, early career researchers (pre-docs and post-docs), or senior researchers, either from Industry or Academia, interested in DNA metabarcoding and metagenomics. Please note that this is an introductory course and is not intended for researchers with experience in DNA metabarcoding and metagenomics data analysis.

Basic skills in DNA taxonomy and high-throughput sequencing are required. Researchers who are not familiar with high-throughput sequencing might want to consider signing up first to our introductory course. Basic use of UNIX-based command line is desirable.

Hands-on work will be performed in UNIX environments (Linux, Mac).

All participants should bring and use their own laptops.

Course program

10:00 - 11:30 Introduction to DNA metabarcoding Algorithms and programs for sequence clustering into OTUs/ASVs DNA metabarcoding analyses in R: relative abundances and ordinations Binning and assembly
11:30 - 12:00 Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!
12:00 - 13:30 Experimental design, sample processing, library preparation, and sequencing strategies Practical session: clustering software Closing session DNA metabarcoding: your own project Taxonomic assignment and functional analysis
13:30 - 15:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
15:00 - 16:30 Quality control and pre-processing of high-throughput sequencing data Algorithms and programs for taxonomic assignment Introduction to metagenomics Data exploration and visualisation
16:30 - 17:00 Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!
17:00 - 18:00 Practical session: quality control and pre-processing Practical session: software for taxonomic assignment Experimental design, sample processing, library preparation, and sequencing strategies Closing session metagenomics: your own project
18:00 - 20:00 Free time Free time Free time Good bye!
20:00 - 22:00 Dinner Dinner Dinner and party 


First edition 2019 (Spanish): March 26 - March 29.

Second edition 2019 (Spanish): June 11 - June 14.

Third edition 2019 (English): November 12 - November 15.


The course will be held at Camping Los Manzanos. Los Manzanos is a singular and quaint place in the municipality of Oleiros (A Coruña, Galicia, Spain). It is located within walking distance of the picturesque XVI-century castle and the lively cafés in the village of Santa Cruz. Travellers who want to enjoy being near the sea, but not right on the sea itself, flock to this original campsite in the woods which is well-known for its restaurant and its sculptures and paintings by Julio Sanjurjo. A Coruña, one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Spain is only 12 km. away.

The easiest way to reach the venue from A Coruña airport is by taxi; alternatively, you may take the airport bus to A Coruña Bus Station and then take the bus line to Santa Cruz. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you need further information on how to get to Los Manzanos.


Course fee (including course materials and refreshments): 700 euros.

Course fee + accommodation and meals: 920 euros. This package includes accommodation in shared bungalows (2 or 4 people) with en suite bathroom (check in on Monday evening; check out on Friday morning) and meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at the venue restaurant. The bungalows are equipped with bed linen and towels, TV, coffee maker, toaster, microwave oven, fridge, flatware, dishware, and heating. Additional accommodation options are available at an extra cost.

How to apply

If interested, please fill out our contact form and specify:

  • The course and edition you are interested in enrolling in.
  • The details of the paying institution (including VAT number).

The sign-up deadline is 30 days prior to the start of the course.

Please note that there is an 18 participant limit and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

A 10 participant minimum per course edition is required. If that minimum is not reached the edition will be cancelled and participants offered a different edition or a total refund.