METATRYP v 2.0: Metaproteomic Least Common Ancestor Analysis for Taxonomic Inference Using Specialized Sequence Assemblies-Standalone Software and Web Servers for Marine Microorganisms and Coronaviruses

J Proteome Res. 2020 Nov 6;19(11):4718-4729. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00385. Epub 2020 Sep 23.


We present METATRYP version 2 software that identifies shared peptides across the predicted proteomes of organisms within environmental metaproteomics studies to enable accurate taxonomic attribution of peptides during protein inference. Improvements include ingestion of complex sequence assembly data categories (metagenomic and metatranscriptomic assemblies, single cell amplified genomes, and metagenome assembled genomes), prediction of the least common ancestor (LCA) for a peptide shared across multiple organisms, increased performance through updates to the backend architecture, and development of a web portal ( Major expansion of the marine METATRYP database with predicted proteomes from environmental sequencing confirms a low occurrence of shared tryptic peptides among disparate marine microorganisms, implying tractability for targeted metaproteomics. METATRYP was designed to facilitate ocean metaproteomics and has been integrated into the Ocean Protein Portal (; however, it can be readily applied to other domains. We describe the rapid deployment of a coronavirus-specific web portal ( to aid in use of proteomics on coronavirus research during the ongoing pandemic. A coronavirus-focused METATRYP database identified potential SARS-CoV-2 peptide biomarkers and indicated very few shared tryptic peptides between SARS-CoV-2 and other disparate taxa analyzed, sharing <1% peptides with taxa outside of the betacoronavirus group, establishing that taxonomic specificity is achievable using tryptic peptide-based proteomic diagnostic approaches.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; marine metaproteomics; marine microbiology; metaproteomics; taxonomic annotation; tryptic peptide identification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aquatic Organisms / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / classification
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Betacoronavirus / genetics
  • COVID-19
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Coronavirus / genetics*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Metagenomics / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Pandemics
  • Peptides / classification
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Proteome* / classification
  • Proteome* / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Software*
  • Transcriptome / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / classification
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Proteome
  • Viral Proteins