Our readers will surely find this paper interesting (h/t: @ErichMScwartz). We have not read it yet, but plan to do so shortly.
Although many de novo genome assembly projects have recently been performed using high-throughput sequencers, assembling the highly heterozygous diploid genomes is a big scientific challenge due to the increased complexity of the de Bruijn graph structure predominantly employed. To deal with an increasing demand for sequencing of non-model and/or wild-type sample, in most cases, inbred lines or fosmid-based hierarchical sequencing methods are employed with overcoming such problems. However, these methods are costly and time consuming, forfeiting the advantage of massive parallel sequencing. Here, we describe a novel de novo assembler, Platanus, which can effectively manage high-throughput data from heterozygous samples. Platanus assembles DNA fragments (reads) into contigs by constructing de Bruijn graphs with automatically optimized k-mer sizes, followed by scaffolding of contigs based on paired-end information. The complicated graph structures that result from the heterozygosity are simplified during not only the contig assembly step but also the scaffolding step. We evaluated the assembly results on eukaryotic samples with various levels of heterozygosity. Compared with other assemblers, the Platanus assembly results have a larger NG50 length without any accompanying loss of accuracy in both simulated data and real data. In addition, Platanus recorded the largest NG50 values for two of the three low heterozygous species used in the de novo assembly contest, Assemblathon2. Platanus provides, therefore, a novel and efficient approach for the assembly of Giga base-sized highly heterozygous genomes and is also an attractive alternative to the existing assemblers designed for genomes of lower heterozygosity.
Their website can be accessed here.
Platanus is a completely newly developed de novo genome assembler for high- throughput sequence data (mainly illuminas data), which is designed to assemble GB-size class genome. The greatest characteristics of Platanus assembler is the ability to manage highly heterozygous samples. Platanus assembles DNA fragments (reads) into contiguous sequences (contigs) constructing de Bruijn graphs with multiple k-mer sizes and constructing scaffolds from contigs based on paired-end information. The complicated graph structures caused by heterozygosity are simplified during both contig assembly and scaffolding.
What else is out there? Here is only a subset of previous discussions on the topic.
Please note that you do not have to restrict yourself to de Bruijn graphs. If everything else fails, contact Jason Chin to order long reads :)