Poster: Means to visualize spatial patterns in host-associated microbiome data

Means to visualize spatial patterns in host-associated microbiome data

Ida Holopainen,Matti Ruuskanen,Leo M Lahti,Aki Havulinna

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare


Host-associated microbial communities are affected by ecological processes, living environment, diet, and health status of the host organism. Because many of these factors display spatial patterns, they can also create spatial variation in the microbiome compositions between hosts. To date, there are only few studies that have investigated such spatial patterns in host-associated microbiomes. Studying the spatial patterns and variability of host-associated microbiomes could likely help specify the environmental mechanisms that shape microbiome composition. The aim of this work is to contribute methods that can be used to study the geographical variability in microbiome composition. I have explored means to visualize the geographical variation of the gut microbiome composition within Finnish individuals, and spatial aspects of our data. The data used in this work is a representative sample of the Finnish population, containing address-level spatial information of 6799 individuals from Northern, Eastern, and South-Western parts of Finland. The results of this work can be used to investigate possible links between gut microbiome composition and chronic diseases in the Finnish population to potentially improve diagnostics of these diseases. The visualizations are constructed using R, and microbiome data is processed using the software packages available in Bioconductor, including mia. We plan to implement these spatial visualization methods to MultiAssayExperiment data container to support broad access and interoperability.