Contigs directed gene annotation (ConDiGA) for accurate protein sequence database construction in metaproteomics

Enhui Wu, Vijini Mallawaarachchi, Jinzhi Zhao, Yi Yang, Hebin Liu, Xiaoqing Wang, Chengpin Shen, Yu Lin, Liang Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)



Microbiota are closely associated with human health and disease. Metaproteomics can provide a direct means to identify microbial proteins in microbiota for compositional and functional characterization. However, in-depth and accurate metaproteomics is still limited due to the extreme complexity and high diversity of microbiota samples. It is generally recommended to use metagenomic data from the same samples to construct the protein sequence database for metaproteomic data analysis. Although different metagenomics-based database construction strategies have been developed, an optimization of gene taxonomic annotation has not been reported, which, however, is extremely important for accurate metaproteomic analysis. 


Herein, we proposed an accurate taxonomic annotation pipeline for genes from metagenomic data, namely contigs directed gene annotation (ConDiGA), and used the method to build a protein sequence database for metaproteomic analysis. We compared our pipeline (ConDiGA or MD3) with two other popular annotation pipelines (MD1 and MD2). In MD1, genes were directly annotated against the whole bacterial genome database; in MD2, contigs were annotated against the whole bacterial genome database and the taxonomic information of contigs was assigned to the genes; in MD3, the most confident species from the contigs annotation results were taken as reference to annotate genes. Annotation tools, including BLAST, Kaiju, and Kraken2, were compared. Based on a synthetic microbial community of 12 species, it was found that Kaiju with the MD3 pipeline outperformed the others in the construction of protein sequence database from metagenomic data. Similar performance was also observed with a fecal sample, as well as in silico mixed datasets of the simulated microbial community and the fecal sample. 


Overall, we developed an optimized pipeline for gene taxonomic annotation to construct protein sequence databases. Our study can tackle the current taxonomic annotation reliability problem in metagenomics-derived protein sequence database and can promote the in-depth metaproteomic analysis of microbiome. The unique metagenomic and metaproteomic datasets of the 12 bacterial species are publicly available as a standard benchmarking sample for evaluating various analysis pipelines. The code of ConDiGA is open access at GitHub for the analysis of microbiota samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2024


  • Mass spectrometry
  • Metagenomics
  • Metaproteomics
  • Microbiota
  • Taxonomic annotation


Dive into the research topics of 'Contigs directed gene annotation (ConDiGA) for accurate protein sequence database construction in metaproteomics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Deepthought HPC

    Facility/equipment: Equipment

Cite this