Invalid value for '--m-metadata-file'


I have been having trouble with a step called exploring taxonomy for groups. I am currently trying to group samples by a metadata category by creating an average community using the following command line

qiime feature-table group --i-table /PATH/to/feature_table.qza  --m-metadata-file /PATH/to/Metadata.txt  --m-metadata-column USER-defined-Factor-Name --p-axis sample  --p-mode mean-ceiling  --o-grouped-table Grouped_feature_table.qza

My user defined factor name is SampleType.

However when I input all files I keep getting this error:

(1/1) Invalid value for '--m-metadata-file': There was an issue with

retrieving column 'sampletype' from the metadata.

I have checked over my metadata to ensure my sample id column was okay and it is. Ive searched up and down this forum and I have not found a specific solution to my problem. Someone please help.
I've attached my metadata here.
Cuttlefish_metadata.txt (213.5 KB)

Here is the deblur file Cuttlefish_OTUstable.qza (172.6 KB)

We are also using qiime2-2020.11 as we cannot update it to the current version because of the class. Thanks

Hi Oluwatimileyin,

Thanks for reaching out! Happy to be of some assistance here.

Everything looks good within your metadata file - the issue you’re running into is actually because of the column you included under --m-metadata-column. Here are some additional details about this parameter:


A column defining the groups. Each unique value will become a new ID for the table on the given axis.

Rather than using the sampleid column, you’ll want to select a column that will be used to define the different groups you are working with in your dataset.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you run into any further issues you need assistance with!


Wow. Thank you a million times. It worked. It was something so simple, I completely overlooked that fact that I could be using a column that was not able to define the different groups.

Thank you again, Liz! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


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