Brief Communication abstract

Nature Methods 6, 639 - 641 (2009)
Published online: 9 August 2009 | doi:10.1038/nmeth.1361

Accurate determination of microbial diversity from 454 pyrosequencing data

Christopher Quince1, Anders Lanzén2, Thomas P Curtis3, Russell J Davenport3, Neil Hall4, Ian M Head3, L Fiona Read3 & William T Sloan1


We present an algorithm, PyroNoise, that clusters the flowgrams of 454 pyrosequencing reads using a distance measure that models sequencing noise. This infers the true sequences in a collection of amplicons. We pyrosequenced a known mixture of microbial 16S rDNA sequences extracted from a lake and found that without noise reduction the number of operational taxonomic units is overestimated but using PyroNoise it can be accurately calculated.

  1. Department of Civil Engineering, Rankine Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.
  2. Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
  3. School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  4. School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Correspondence to: Christopher Quince1 e-mail: