Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37926832
Link to DOI – 10.1186/s40168-023-01670-3
Microbiome 2023 Nov; 11(1): 243
The analysis of ancient oral metagenomes from archaeological human and animal samples is largely confounded by contaminant DNA sequences from modern and environmental sources. Existing methods for Microbial Source Tracking (MST) estimate the proportions of environmental sources, but do not perform well on ancient metagenomes. We developed a novel method called decOM for Microbial Source Tracking and classification of ancient and modern metagenomic samples using k-mer matrices.We analysed a collection of 360 ancient oral, modern oral, sediment/soil and skin metagenomes, using stratified five-fold cross-validation. decOM estimates the contributions of these source environments in ancient oral metagenomic samples with high accuracy, outperforming two state-of-the-art methods for source tracking, FEAST and mSourceTracker.decOM is a high-accuracy microbial source tracking method, suitable for ancient oral metagenomic data sets. The decOM method is generic and could also be adapted for MST of other ancient and modern types of metagenomes. We anticipate that decOM will be a valuable tool for MST of ancient metagenomic studies. Video Abstract.