Normalizing Metagenomic Hi-C Data and Detecting Spurious Contacts Using Zero-Inflated Negative Binomial Regression.


High-throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) has recently been applied to natural microbial communities and revealed great potential to study multiple genomes simultaneously. Several extraneous factors may influence chromosomal contacts rendering the normalization of Hi-C contact maps essential for downstream analyses. However, the current paucity of metagenomic Hi-C normalization methods and the ignorance for spurious interspecies contacts weaken the interpretability of the data. Here, we report on two types of biases in metagenomic Hi-C experiments: explicit biases and implicit biases, and introduce HiCzin, a parametric model to correct both types of biases and remove spurious interspecies contacts. We demonstrate that the normalized metagenomic Hi-C contact maps by HiCzin result in lower biases, higher capability to detect spurious contacts, and better performance in metagenomic contig clustering.

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