Precise phylogenetic analysis of microbial isolates and genomes from metagenomes using PhyloPhlAn 3.0

Francesco Asnicar, Andrew Maltez Thomas, Francesco Beghini, Claudia Mengoni, Serena Manara, Paolo Manghi, Qiyun Zhu, Mattia Bolzan, Fabio Cumbo, Uyen May, Jon G. Sanders, Moreno Zolfo, Evguenia Kopylova, Edoardo Pasolli, Rob Knight, Siavash Mirarab, Curtis Huttenhower, Nicola Segata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Microbial genomes are available at an ever-increasing pace, as cultivation and sequencing become cheaper and obtaining metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) becomes more effective. Phylogenetic placement methods to contextualize hundreds of thousands of genomes must thus be efficiently scalable and sensitive from closely related strains to divergent phyla. We present PhyloPhlAn 3.0, an accurate, rapid, and easy-to-use method for large-scale microbial genome characterization and phylogenetic analysis at multiple levels of resolution. PhyloPhlAn 3.0 can assign genomes from isolate sequencing or MAGs to species-level genome bins built from >230,000 publically available sequences. For individual clades of interest, it reconstructs strain-level phylogenies from among the closest species using clade-specific maximally informative markers. At the other extreme of resolution, it scales to large phylogenies comprising >17,000 microbial species. Examples including Staphylococcus aureus isolates, gut metagenomes, and meta-analyses demonstrate the ability of PhyloPhlAn 3.0 to support genomic and metagenomic analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2500
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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