Animalcules: interactive microbiome analytics and visualization in R

Source: BMC (Part of Springer Nature)

New publication from Dr. Evan Johnson, Dr. Stefano Monti, Anthony Federico and collaborators – see below for the abstract and to read more.


Microbial communities that live in and on the human body play a vital role in health and disease. Recent advances in sequencing technologies have enabled the study of microbial communities at unprecedented resolution. However, these advances in data generation have presented novel challenges to researchers attempting to analyze and visualize these data.


To address some of these challenges, we have developed animalcules, an easy-to-use interactive microbiome analysis toolkit for 16S rRNA sequencing data, shotgun DNA metagenomics data, and RNA-based metatranscriptomics profiling data. This toolkit combines novel and existing analytics, visualization methods, and machine learning models. For example, the toolkit features traditional microbiome analyses such as alpha/beta diversity and differential abundance analysis, combined with new methods for biomarker identification are. In addition, animalcules provides interactive and dynamic figures that enable users to understand their data and discover new insights. animalcules can be used as a standalone command-line R package or users can explore their data with the accompanying interactive R Shiny interface.


We present animalcules, an R package for interactive microbiome analysis through either an interactive interface facilitated by R Shiny or various command-line functions. It is the first microbiome analysis toolkit that supports the analysis of all 16S rRNA, DNA-based shotgun metagenomics, and RNA-sequencing based metatranscriptomics datasets. animalcules can be freely downloaded from GitHub at or installed through Bioconductor at

Click here to read the full article.