"Group" not accepted as metadata category

When using the name “Group” for a metadata category, the error (or similar) arises.

Plugin error from feature-table:

Selection of IDs failed with query: SELECT “#SampleID” FROM metadata
WHERE Group=‘1’ GROUP BY “#SampleID” ORDER BY “#SampleID”;

Renaming the category “ExptGroup” for example fixes the problem, but given how cryptic this error message is, there should be a fix or a note that some names are protected and cannot be passed by the user. Thanks.

Hi @tkuntz,
Thank you for reporting — could you please let us know the exact command(s) that you ran to generate this error? Then we can raise a more sensible error or (ideally) fix this issue so that “Group” is still a valid metadata category.

qiime feature-table filter-samples --i-table table.qza --m-metadata-file sample-metadata.tsv --p-where “Group=‘1’” --o-filtered-table test.qza

Thanks for the command @tkuntz!

I’ve created an issue to track this bug. Based on some really quick research, it looks like any of these words will likely cause the same issue.

I think you may be able to avoid it, if you were to quote Group in your where statement. So I think this might work:

 qiime feature-table filter-samples \
  --i-table table.qza \
  --m-metadata-file sample-metadata.tsv \
  --p-where "\"Group\"='1'" \
  --o-filtered-table test.qza

Turns out this has happened before!

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In QIIME 2 2018.2 this error now indicates that some of the columns may be reserved names (providing a URL to check) and suggests quoting them.