Microbial co-presence and mutual-exclusion networks in the Bovine rumen microbiome

Haiying / HY Wang, Huiru Zheng, Richard J. Dewhurst, Rainer Roehe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


The recognized significance of rumen microbiome has inspired efforts to examine the composition of rumen microbial communities in a large scale. One of the key research areas is to infer association and dependencies between members of rumen microbial communities through correlation analysis. However, it has been found that due to the compositional nature of data, simply applying correlation-based techniques to the analysis of relative abundance of microbial genes may produce artefactual correlation and loss of information. In an attempt to mitigate the compositional effect on the analysis of rumen microbiome data, this study applied a framework including a compendium of two correlation measures and three dissimilarity metrics that are intrinsically robust to compositionality. Based on the inference of significant positive and negative associations, co-presence and mutual-exclusion networks were constructed. The corresponding modules associated with methane production were identified. The modules are highly enriched with microbial genes associated with methane emissions and encoding enzymes involved in the methane methanogensis pathway. In comparisons to previous studies, our analysis demonstrates that deriving microbial associations based on the correlations between relative abundances may not only lead to missing information but also produce spurious associations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-3051-4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 18 Dec 2017
Event2017 IEEE Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine - Kansas City, MO, USA
Duration: 18 Dec 2017 → …


Conference2017 IEEE Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine
Period18/12/17 → …


  • rumen microbiome
  • compositional data
  • methane emission
  • co-occurrence networks
  • correlation analysis


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