Shinichi Sunagawa

Shinichi Sunagawa
ETH Zurich | ETH Zürich · Department of Biology

Professor

About

294
Publications
123,582
Reads
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31,305
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
ETH Zurich
Position
  • Professor
July 2010 - June 2016
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2006 - May 2010
University of California, Merced
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
July 2006 - May 2010
University of California Merced
Field of study
  • Quantitative and Systems Biology
October 2003 - October 2005
Universität Bremen
Field of study
  • Aquatic Ecology
October 1997 - October 2002
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Field of study
  • Biochemistry, Biophysical Chemistry

Publications

Publications (294)
Article
Full-text available
Microbes are dominant drivers of biogeochemical processes, yet drawing a global picture of functional diversity, microbial community structure, and their ecological determinants remains a grand challenge. We analyzed 7.2 terabases of metagenomic data from 243 Tara Oceans samples from 68 locations in epipelagic and mesopelagic waters across the glob...
Article
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In molecular systems biology, data are flooding us at an ever‐increasing pace, from genomic to transcriptomic and proteomic information, complemented by spatially and time‐resolved data obtained at multiple scales. Computational biology usually integrates these layers of information at the cellular and biochemical levels. But how does the interplay...
Article
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Whereas large-scale efforts have rapidly advanced the understanding and practical impact of human genomic variation, the practical impact of variation is largely unexplored in the human microbiome. We therefore developed a framework for metagenomic variation analysis and applied it to 252 faecal metagenomes of 207 individuals from Europe and North...
Article
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has shown efficacy in treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection and is increasingly being applied to other gastrointestinal disorders, yet the fate of native and introduced microbial strains remains largely unknown. To quantify the extent of donor microbiota colonization, we monitored strain populatio...
Article
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To quantify known and unknown microorganisms at species-level resolution using shotgun sequencing data, we developed a method that establishes metagenomic operational taxonomic units (mOTUs) based on single-copy phylogenetic marker genes. Applied to 252 human fecal samples, the method revealed that on average 43% of the species abundance and 58% of...
Article
Full-text available
Testing hypothesis about the biogeography of genes using large data resources such as Tara Oceans marine metagenomes and metatranscriptomes requires significant hardware resources and programming skills. The new release of the ‘Ocean Gene Atlas’ (OGA2) is a freely available intuitive online service to mine large and complex marine environmental gen...
Article
Whereas DNA viruses are known to be abundant, diverse, and commonly key ecosystem players, RNA viruses are insufficiently studied outside disease settings. In this study, we analyzed ≈28 terabases of Global Ocean RNA sequences to expand Earth's RNA virus catalogs and their taxonomy, investigate their evolutionary origins, and assess their marine bi...
Article
Whereas DNA viruses are known to be abundant, diverse, and commonly key ecosystem players, RNA viruses are insufficiently studied outside disease settings. In this study, we analyzed ≈28 terabases of Global Ocean RNA sequences to expand Earth's RNA virus catalogs and their taxonomy, investigate their evolutionary origins, and assess their marine bi...
Article
Shotgun metagenomic approaches to uncover new enzymes are underdeveloped relative to PCR- or activity-based functional metagenomics. Here we review computational and experimental strategies to discover biosynthetic enzymes from metagenomes.
Article
Full-text available
The human microbiome is increasingly mined for diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers using machine learning (ML). However, metagenomics-specific software is scarce, and overoptimistic evaluation and limited cross-study generalization are prevailing issues. To address these, we developed SIAMCAT, a versatile R toolbox for ML-based comparative metage...
Article
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Background Temperate phages influence the density, diversity and function of bacterial populations. Historically, they have been described as carriers of toxins. More recently, they have also been recognised as direct modulators of the gut microbiome, and indirectly of host health and disease. Despite recent advances in studying prophages using non...
Preprint
Microbes are phylogenetically and metabolically diverse. Yet capturing this diversity, assigning functions to host organisms and exploring the biosynthetic potential in natural environments remains challenging. We reconstructed >25,000 draft genomes, including from >2,500 uncharacterized species, from globally-distributed ocean microbial communitie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Marine plankton mitigate anthropogenic greenhouse gases, modulate biogeochemical cycles, and provide fishery resources. Plankton is distributed across a stratified ecosystem of sunlit surface waters and a vast, though understudied, mesopelagic 'dark ocean'. In this study, we mapped viruses, prokaryotes, and pico-eukaryotes across 32 globally-distri...
Article
Full-text available
Host-microbe interactions play crucial roles in marine ecosystems. However, we still have very little understanding of the mechanisms that govern these relationships, the evolutionary processes that shape them, and their ecological consequences. The holobiont concept is a renewed paradigm in biology that can help to describe and understand these co...
Article
Full-text available
Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) are ubiquitous in marine environments and infect diverse eukaryotes. However, little is known about their biogeography and ecology in the ocean. By leveraging the Tara Oceans pole-to-pole metagenomic data set, we investigated the distribution of NCLDVs across size fractions, depths and biomes, as well as...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Arctic Ocean is a key player in the regulation of climate and at the same time is under increasing pressure as a result of climate change. Predicting the future of this ecosystem requires understanding of the responses of Arctic microorganisms to environmental change, as they are the main drivers of global biogeochemical cycles. However, little...
Article
A planetary-scale understanding of the ocean ecosystem, particularly in light of climate change, is crucial. Here, we review the work of Tara Oceans, an international, multidisciplinary project to assess the complexity of ocean life across comprehensive taxonomic and spatial scales. Using a modified sailing boat, the team sampled plankton at 210 gl...
Article
Initial enteropathogen growth in the microbiota-colonized gut is poorly understood. Salmonella Typhimurium is metabolically adaptable and can harvest energy by anaerobic respiration using microbiota-derived hydrogen (H2) as an electron donor and fumarate as an electron acceptor. As fumarate is scarce in the gut, the source of this electron acceptor...
Article
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Bacterial specialized metabolites are increasingly recognized as important factors in animal–microbiome interactions: for example, by providing the host with chemical defenses. Even in chemically rich animals, such compounds have been found to originate from individual members of more diverse microbiomes. Here, we identified a remarkable case of a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host-microbe interactions play crucial roles in marine ecosystems. However, we still have very little understanding of the mechanisms that govern these relationships, the evolutionary processes that shape them, and their ecological consequences. The holobiont concept is a renewed paradigm in biology that can help to describe and understand these co...
Article
Full-text available
This working group gathers 31 scientists from ten different countries, with expertise covering different scientific disciplines including philosophy, evolution, computer sciences, marine biology, ecology, chemistry, and microbiology, who participated in a workshop on marine holobionts, organized at the Roscoff Biological Station in March 2018. Thei...
Preprint
Full-text available
The human microbiome is increasingly mined for diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers. However, computational tools tailored to such analyses are still scarce. Here, we present the SIAMCAT R package, a versatile and user-friendly toolbox for comparative metagenome analyses using machine learning (ML), statistical tests, and visualization. Based on a...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial organisms inhabit virtually all environments and encompass a vast biological diversity. The pangenome concept aims to facilitate an understanding of diversity within defined phylogenetic groups. Hence, pangenomes are increasingly used to characterize the strain diversity of prokaryotic species. To understand the interdependence of pangeno...
Article
Full-text available
Marine aerosols play a significant role in the global radiative budget, in clouds’ processes, and in the chemistry of the marine atmosphere. There is a critical need to better understand their production mechanisms, composition, chemical properties, and the contribution of ocean-derived biogenic matter to their mass and number concentration. Here w...
Article
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Global ocean expeditions have provided minimum estimates of ocean’s prokaryote diversity, supported by apparent asymptotes in the number of prokaryotes with sampling effort, of about 40,000 species, representing <1% of the species cataloged in the Earth Microbiome Project, despite being the largest habitat in the biosphere. Here we demonstrate that...
Preprint
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Biogeographical studies have traditionally focused on readily visible organisms, but recent technological advances are enabling analyses of the large-scale distribution of microscopic organisms, whose biogeographical patterns have long been debated 1,2 . The most prominent global biogeography of marine plankton was derived by Longhurst ³ based on p...
Article
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The microbiota confers colonization resistance, which blocks Salmonella gut colonization¹. As diet affects microbiota composition, we studied whether food composition shifts enhance susceptibility to infection. Shifting mice to diets with reduced fibre or elevated fat content for 24 h boosted Salmonella Typhimurium or Escherichia coli gut colonizat...
Article
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Interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere occur at the air-sea interface through the transfer of momentum, heat, gases and particulate matter, and through the impact of the upper-ocean biology on the composition and radiative properties of this boundary layer. The Tara Pacific expedition, launched in May 2016 aboard the schooner Tara, was a...
Article
The ocean is home to myriad small planktonic organisms that underpin the functioning of marine ecosystems. However, their spatial patterns of diversity and the underlying drivers remain poorly known, precluding projections of their responses to global changes. Here we investigate the latitudinal gradients and global predictors of plankton diversity...
Article
Full-text available
Ocean microbial communities strongly influence the biogeochemistry, food webs, and climate of our planet. Despite recent advances in understanding their taxonomic and genomic compositions, little is known about how their transcriptomes vary globally. Here, we present a dataset of 187 metatranscriptomes and 370 metagenomes from 126 globally distribu...
Article
Full-text available
Microbiology depends on the availability of annotated microbial genomes for many applications. Comparative genomics approaches have been a major advance, but consistent and accurate annotations of genomes can be hard to obtain. In addition, newer concepts such as the pan-genome concept are still being implemented to help answer biological questions...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteria colonizing the aerial parts of plants (phyllosphere) are linked to the biology of their host. They impact plant–pathogen interactions and may influence plant reproduction. Past studies have shown differences in composition and structure of the leaf, flower, and host microbiota, but an investigation of the impact of individual taxa on these...
Article
Full-text available
Multicellular organisms, including plants, are colonized by microorganisms, some of which are beneficial to growth and health. The assembly rules for establishing plant microbiota are not well understood, and neither is the extent to which their members interact. We conducted drop-out and late introduction experiments by inoculating Arabidopsis tha...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs are the most diverse habitats in the marine realm. Their productivity, structural complexity, and biodiversity critically depend on ecosystem services provided by corals that are threatened because of climate change effects—in particular, ocean warming and acidification. The coral holobiont is composed of the coral animal host, endosymb...
Preprint
Full-text available
Microbial organisms inhabit virtually all environments and encompass a vast biological diversity. The pan-genome concept aims to facilitate an understanding of diversity within defined phylogenetic groups. Hence, pan-genomes are increasingly used to characterize the strain diversity of prokaryotic species. To understand the interdependency of pan-g...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host-microbe interactions play crucial roles in marine ecosystems, but we still have very little understanding of the mechanisms that govern these relationships, the evolutionary processes that shape them, and their ecological consequences. The holobiont concept is a renewed paradigm in biology that can help describe and understand these complex sy...
Article
Full-text available
Background Consuming red and processed meat has been associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), which is partly attributed to exposure to carcinogens such as heterocyclic amines (HCA) formed during cooking and preservation processes. The interaction of gut microbes and HCA can result in altered bioactivities and it has been shown...
Preprint
Full-text available
The deep sea, the largest compartment of the ocean, is an essential component of the Earth system, but the functional exploration of its microbial communities lags far behind that of other marine realms. Here we analyze 58 bathypelagic microbial metagenomes from the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans in an unprecedented sampling effort from the M...
Article
Full-text available
Association studies have linked microbiome alterations with many human diseases. However, they have not always reported consistent results, thereby necessitating cross-study comparisons. Here, a meta-analysis of eight geographically and technically diverse fecal shotgun metagenomic studies of colorectal cancer (CRC, n = 768), which was controlled f...
Article
Microbes drive most ecosystems and are modulated by viruses that impact their lifespan, gene flow and metabolic outputs. However, ecosystem-level impacts of viral community diversity remains difficult to assess due to classification issues and few reference genomes. Here we establish a ~12-fold expanded global ocean DNA virome dataset of 195,728 vi...
Article
Full-text available
Metagenomic sequencing has greatly improved our ability to profile the composition of environmental and host-associated microbial communities. However, the dependency of most methods on reference genomes, which are currently unavailable for a substantial fraction of microbial species, introduces estimation biases. We present an updated and function...
Article
Full-text available
Predicting responses of plankton to variations in essential nutrients is hampered by limited in situ measurements, a poor understanding of community composition, and the lack of reference gene catalogs for key taxa. Iron is a key driver of plankton dynamics and, therefore, of global biogeochemical cycles and climate. To assess the impact of iron av...