A primer on DNA metabarcoding analysis: from barcodes to biodiversity estimates

Course details

In this 18-hour course, participants will be guided through the process of obtaining abundance tables and taxonomically assigned sequence variants from Illumina DNA metabarcoding datasets.

We will discuss the state of the art in DNA metabarcoding regarding sampling, laboratory workflow design, and marker, primer, and database choice. We will then cover all the steps involved in the bioinformatic analysis, from processing of DNA metabarcoding data with a variety of bioinformatic tools (QIIME2, vsearch, Cutadapt) and public taxonomic reference databases, to the visualisation and interpretation of the results. Lastly, we will introduce the participants to the methods to perform compositional and functional analyses using the resulting abundance tables and sequence variants.

During this course the participants will learn how to analyse a bacterial 16S rDNA metabarcoding dataset as well as how to detect particular taxa in eDNA samples using custom pipelines.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to understand the capabilities and limitations of DNA metabarcoding, to design a DNA metabarcoding study, and apply taxon-specific bioinformatic pipelines to characterise the composition of their dataset and exploit the full potential of DNA metabarcoding applications.

The course will combine theory with hands-on exercises using real datasets. We will offer consultation on the participant’s own data and results during the course.

  • Language: Spanish.
  • Number of places available: 18.
  • Instructors: Dr Neus Marí-Mena, Dr Belén Carro, Dr Verónica Rojo, and Dr Fátima Sánchez-Barreiro.

Target audience and requirements

Master's students, early career researchers (pre-docs and post-docs), or senior researchers, either from Industry or Academia, interested in DNA metabarcoding. Please note that this is an introductory course and is not intended for researchers with experience in DNA metabarcoding 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. Software packages and datasets used during the course will be provided to the participants via a virtual machine, that will be installed before the beginning of the course.

An attendance certificate will be provided at the end of the course.

Contact us for further information and pricing