The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies enables researchers to sequence complex microbial communities directly from environment. Since assembly typically produces only genome fragments, also known as contigs, instead of entire genome, it is crucial to group them into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for further taxonomic profiling and down- streaming functional analysis. OTU clustering is also referred to as binning. We present COCACOLA, a general framework automatically bin contigs into OTUs based upon sequence composition and coverage across multiple samples.
The problem of de-novo assembly for metagenomes using only long reads is gaining attention. We study whether post-processing metagenomic assemblies with the original input long reads can result in quality improvement. Previous approaches have focused on pre-processing reads and optimizing assemblers. BIGMAC takes an alternative perspective to focus on the post-processing step. Using both the assembled contigs and original long reads as input, BIGMAC first breaks the contigs at potentially mis-assembled locations and subsequently scaffolds contigs. Our experiments on metagenomes assembled from long reads show that BIGMAC can improve assembly quality by reducing the number of mis-assemblies while maintaining/increasing N50 and N75. The software is available at https://github.com/kakitone/BIGMAC
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