We are excited to announce the Mosaic Community Challenge: Standards, which aims to bring the community together in an effort to capture the diversity of protocols for NGS-based microbiome profiling methods and analyses as a first step in understanding their impact on the variability of the taxonomic results.

Several studies have documented the significant impact that the multitude of methodological variables in microbiome research have on the variability and consequently the interpretation of NGS-based microbiome data. These differences impede reproducibility of results and the ability of researchers to perform comparisons between independent studies. Understanding the extent of the variability of the taxonomic readouts due to differences in protocols is a critical step in development of standardized protocols, reference standards and meta-analyses.

To tackle this issue, the Standards Challenge will provide and ship 700 aliquots of a selected set of samples – at no cost to Challenge participants – to any lab in the world.

In return, we ask the Challenge participants to use their preferred protocols and instruments to process and sequence the samples. By uploading the sequencing data and associated metadata to Mosaic, participants will be able to compare the differences in their protocols to other participants and differences in taxonomic profiles. All of the data collected for this Challenge will be open source for the community to access and analyze, which will trigger a bioinformatics phase to the Challenge at a later stage.

The Standards Challenge is made possible through a collaboration between:


If you are interested in participating in this global community effort by sequencing the Standards Challenge samples, please provide your information below and we will contact you when samples are ready to be shipped.

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