Difference between a bin and a MAG



I am aware that binning is an important step for reconstructing metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs).

Once I complete the binning, I have a folder with several bins. Can I directly consider them MAGs?

Is there any standard criteria to classify a bin as a MAG? Or an extra step after binning that I am not aware of?





Well, it is always advisable to check the bin quality before declaring it as MAG.

Usually, after binning, I try and assess its quality using checkM, along with some additional parameters such as the number of predicted genes per bin, assembly size, coverage, GC content, and etc. Also, I predict the organism-specific phylogenetic markers such as 16S rRNA or ITS and then search them in the database to check whether the predicted bins have any contamination OR not.

What Nitin Narwade said.

Basically, MAGs are bins that have been checked for completeness and refined if necessary. Any of your bins that are >90% complete and <10% contaminated can be considered MAGs as they are. Some people will even say >70% complete and <10% contaminated already qualifies as a MAG.

Yet if your bin is only 30% complete, or maybe 100% complete but 300% contaminated, you will have to work on them before they can be considered MAGs.

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