Repository: Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Math Department

Contamination detection and microbiome exploration with GRIMER

Piro, Vitor C and Renard, Bernhard Y (2023) Contamination detection and microbiome exploration with GRIMER. GigaScience, 12 . ISSN 2047-217X

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Background: Contamination detection is a important step that should be carefully considered in early stages when designing and performing microbiome studies to avoid biased outcomes. Detecting and removing true contaminants is challenging, especially in low-biomass samples or in studies lacking proper controls. Interactive visualizations and analysis platforms are crucial to better guide this step, to help to identify and detect noisy patterns that could potentially be contamination. Additionally, external evidence, like aggregation of several contamination detection methods and the use of common contaminants reported in the literature, could help to discover and mitigate contamination. Results: We propose GRIMER, a tool that performs automated analyses and generates a portable and interactive dashboard integrating annotation, taxonomy, and metadata. It unifies several sources of evidence to help detect contamination. GRIMER is independent of quantification methods and directly analyzes contingency tables to create an interactive and offline report. Reports can be created in seconds and are accessible for nonspecialists, providing an intuitive set of charts to explore data distribution among observations and samples and its connections with external sources. Further, we compiled and used an extensive list of possible external contaminant taxa and common contaminants with 210 genera and 627 species reported in 22 published articles. Conclusion: GRIMER enables visual data exploration and analysis, supporting contamination detection in microbiome studies. The tool and data presented are open source and available at

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Mathematical and Computer Sciences > Computer Science
Divisions:Department of Mathematics and Computer Science > Institute of Computer Science > Algorithmic Bioinformatics Group
ID Code:2949
Deposited By: Anja Kasseckert
Deposited On:19 Apr 2023 13:40
Last Modified:19 Apr 2023 13:40

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