Determining significance in metagenomic samples

Gregory Ditzler, Robi Polikar, Gail Rosen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Many ecology studies employ ordination methods to visually inspect metagenomic data sets, which initially may contain thousands of dimensions that represent operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of a sample. Many times, MANOVA (applied to a pairwise distance set) is applied to determine how different the groups in the study are from one another. It is convenient to have a p-value that allows us to interpret if two or more groups are different than one another with statistical confidence, where the null hypothesis is that the two populations are not different than the other. With MANOVA all groups are tested under the hypothesis that they are equal. In this work, we present a statistical framework for obtaining a p-value to compare multiple groups that is derived from a non-parametric statistical test, which uses data derived from the OTU features. The result is a matrix of p-values for the comparison on multiple groups in a metagenomic data set. We test our approach on a real-world database using several variations of ordination techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 38th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC 2012
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC 2012 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Mar 16 2012Mar 18 2012

Publication series

Name2012 38th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC 2012


Other38th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering


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