Assemblathon 2: evaluating de novo methods of genome assembly in three vertebrate species

Assemblathon 2: evaluating de novo methods of genome assembly in three vertebrate species
Keith R. Bradnam (1), Joseph N. Fass (1), Anton Alexandrov (36), Paul Baranay (2), Michael Bechner (39), İnanç Birol (33), Sébastien Boisvert10, (11), Jarrod A. Chapman (20), Guillaume Chapuis (7,9), Rayan Chikhi (7,9), Hamidreza Chitsaz (6), Wen-Chi Chou (14,16), Jacques Corbeil (10,13), Cristian Del Fabbro (17), T. Roderick Docking (33), Richard Durbin (34), Dent Earl (40), Scott Emrich (3), Pavel Fedotov (36), Nuno A. Fonseca (30,35), Ganeshkumar Ganapathy (38), Richard A. Gibbs (32), Sante Gnerre (22), Élénie Godzaridis (11), Steve Goldstein (39), Matthias Haimel (30), Giles Hall (22), David Haussler (40), Joseph B. Hiatt (41), Isaac Y. Ho (20), Jason Howard (38), Martin Hunt (34), Shaun D. Jackman (33), David B Jaffe (22), Erich Jarvis (38), Huaiyang Jiang (32), et al. (55 additional authors not shown)
(Submitted on 23 Jan 2013)

Background – The process of generating raw genome sequence data continues to become cheaper, faster, and more accurate. However, assembly of such data into high-quality, finished genome sequences remains challenging. Many genome assembly tools are available, but they differ greatly in terms of their performance (speed, scalability, hardware requirements, acceptance of newer read technologies) and in their final output (composition of assembled sequence). More importantly, it remains largely unclear how to best assess the quality of assembled genome sequences. The Assemblathon competitions are intended to assess current state-of-the-art methods in genome assembly. Results – In Assemblathon 2, we provided a variety of sequence data to be assembled for three vertebrate species (a bird, a fish, and snake). This resulted in a total of 43 submitted assemblies from 21 participating teams. We evaluated these assemblies using a combination of optical map data, Fosmid sequences, and several statistical methods. From over 100 different metrics, we chose ten key measures by which to assess the overall quality of the assemblies. Conclusions – Many current genome assemblers produced useful assemblies, containing a significant representation of their genes, regulatory sequences, and overall genome structure. However, the high degree of variability between the entries suggests that there is still much room for improvement in the field of genome assembly and that approaches which work well in assembling the genome of one species may not necessarily work well for another.

2 thoughts on “Assemblathon 2: evaluating de novo methods of genome assembly in three vertebrate species

  1. Pingback: Our paper: Assemblathon 2 and pizza | Haldane's Sieve

  2. Pingback: Most viewed on Haldane’s Sieve: January 2013 | Haldane's Sieve

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