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Title (Primary) Machine learning-assisted identification of bioindicators predicts medium-chain carboxylate production performance of an anaerobic mixed culture
Author Liu, B.; Sträuber, H.; Saraiva, J.; Harms, H.; Silva, S.G.; Kasmanas, J.C.; Kleinsteuber, S.; Nunes da Rocha, U.
Journal Microbiome
Year 2022
Department UMB
Volume 10
Page From art. 48
Language englisch
Topic T7 Bioeconomy
Keywords Predictive biology; Carboxylate platform; Model ecosystems; Reactor microbiota; Microbial chain elongation
Abstract Background
The ability to quantitatively predict ecophysiological functions of microbial communities provides an important step to engineer microbiota for desired functions related to specific biochemical conversions. Here, we present the quantitative prediction of medium-chain carboxylate production in two continuous anaerobic bioreactors from 16S rRNA gene dynamics in enriched communities.

By progressively shortening the hydraulic retention time (HRT) from 8 to 2 days with different temporal schemes in two bioreactors operated for 211 days, we achieved higher productivities and yields of the target products n-caproate and n-caprylate. The datasets generated from each bioreactor were applied independently for training and testing machine learning algorithms using 16S rRNA genes to predict n-caproate and n-caprylate productivities. Our dataset consisted of 14 and 40 samples from HRT of 8 and 2 days, respectively. Because of the size and balance of our dataset, we compared linear regression, support vector machine and random forest regression algorithms using the original and balanced datasets generated using synthetic minority oversampling. Further, we performed cross-validation to estimate model stability. The random forest regression was the best algorithm producing more consistent results with median of error rates below 8%. More than 90% accuracy in the prediction of n-caproate and n-caprylate productivities was achieved. Four inferred bioindicators belonging to the genera Olsenella, Lactobacillus, Syntrophococcus and Clostridium IV suggest their relevance to the higher carboxylate productivity at shorter HRT. The recovery of metagenome-assembled genomes of these bioindicators confirmed their genetic potential to perform key steps of medium-chain carboxylate production.

Shortening the hydraulic retention time of the continuous bioreactor systems allows to shape the communities with desired chain elongation functions. Using machine learning, we demonstrated that 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing data can be used to predict bioreactor process performance quantitatively and accurately. Characterizing and harnessing bioindicators holds promise to manage reactor microbiota towards selection of the target processes. Our mathematical framework is transferrable to other ecosystem processes and microbial systems where community dynamics is linked to key functions. The general methodology used here can be adapted to data types of other functional categories such as genes, transcripts, proteins or metabolites.
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Liu, B., Sträuber, H., Saraiva, J., Harms, H., Silva, S.G., Kasmanas, J.C., Kleinsteuber, S., Nunes da Rocha, U. (2022):
Machine learning-assisted identification of bioindicators predicts medium-chain carboxylate production performance of an anaerobic mixed culture
Microbiome 10 , art. 48