Phylogenetic Classification using Phylosift

In this workshop we’ll extract interesting bins from the concoct runs and investigate which species they consists of. We’ll start by using a plain’ol BLASTN search and later we’ll try a more sophisticated strategy with the program Phylosift.

Extract bins from CONCOCT output

The output from concoct is only a list of cluster id and contig ids respectively, so if we’d like to have fasta files for all our bins, we need to run the following script: -h

Running it will create a separate fasta file for each bin, so we’d first like to create a output directory where we can store these files:

mkdir -p ~/binning-workshop/concoct_output/3000_all_samples/fasta_bins ~/binning-workshop/data/Contigs_gt1000.fa ~/binning-workshop/concoct_output/3000_all_samples/clustering_gt3000.csv --output_path ~/binning-workshop/concoct_output/3000_all_samples/fasta_bins/

Now you can see a number of bins in your output folder:

ls ~/binning-workshop/concoct_output/3000_all_samples/fasta_bins

Using the graph downloaded in the previous part, decide one cluster you’d like to investigate further. We’re going to use the web based BLASTN tool at ncbi, so lets first download the fasta file for the cluster you choose. Execute on a terminal not logged in to UPPMAX:

scp ~/Desktop/

Before starting to blasting this cluster, lets begin with the next assignment, since the next assignment will include a long waiting time that suits for running the BLASTN search.


Phylosift is a software created for the purpose of determining the phylogenetic composition of your metagenomic data. It uses a defined set of genes to predict the taxonomy of each sequence in your dataset. You can read more about how this works here: I’ve yet to discover how to install phylosift into a common bin, so in order to execute phylosift, you’d have to cd into the phylosift directory:

cd /proj/g2014113/src/phylosift_v1.0.1

Running phylosift will take some time (roughly 45 min) and UPPMAX do not want you to run this kind of heavy jobs on the regular login session, so what we’ll do is to allocate an interactive node. For this course we have 16 nodes booked and available for our use so you will not need to wait in line. Start your interactive session with 4 cores available:

interactive -A g2014113 -p core -n 4 -t 4:00:00

Now we have more computational resources available so lets start running phylosift on the cluster you choose (excange x in x.fa for your cluster number). You could also choose to use the clusters from the binning results using a single sample, but then you need to redo the fasta extraction above.:

mkdir -p ~/binning-workshop/phylosift_output/
/proj/g2014113/src/phylosift_v1.0.1/phylosift all -f --output ~/binning-workshop/phylosift_output/ ~/binning-workshop/concoct_output/3000_all_samples/fasta_bins/x.fa

While this command is running, go to ncbi web blast service:

Upload your fasta file that you downloaded in the previous step and submit a blast search against the nr/nt database. Browse through the result and try and see if you can do a taxonomic classification from these.

When the phylosift run is completed, browse the output directory:

ls ~/binning-workshop/phylosift_output/

All of these files are interesting, but the most fun one is the html file, so lets download this to your own computer and have a look. Again, switch to a terminal where you’re not logged in to UPPMAX:

scp ~/Desktop/

Did the phylosift result correspond to any results in the BLAST output?

As you hopefully see, this phylosift result file is quite neat, but it doesn’t show its full potential using a pure cluster, so to display the results for a more diverse input file we have prepared a run for the complete dataset:

ls /proj/g2014113/nobackup/concoct-workshop/phylosift_output/all/

And download this (running it on your own terminal again):

scp ~/Desktop/

Can you “find your bin” within this result file?