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J Bioinform Comput Biol. 2008 Dec;6(6):1193-211.

EnGenIUS -- Environmental Genome Informational Utility System.

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  • 1Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19711, USA. kaplarevic@dbi.udel.edu


Short-insert shotgun sequencing approaches have been applied in recent years to environmental genomic libraries. In the case of complex multispecies microbial communities, there can be many sequence reads that are not incorporated into assemblies, and thus need to be annotated and accessible as single reads. Most existing annotation systems and genome databases accommodate assembled genomes containing contiguous gene-encoding sequences. Thus, a solution is required that can work effectively with environmental genomic annotation information to facilitate data analysis. The Environmental Genome Informational Utility System (EnGenIUS) is a comprehensive environmental genome (metagenome) research toolset that was specifically designed to accommodate the needs of large (> 250 K sequence reads) environmental genome sequencing efforts. The core EnGenIUS modules consist of a set of UNIX scripts and PHP programs used for data preprocessing, an annotation pipeline with accompanying analysis tools, two entity relational databases, and a graphical user interface. The annotation pipeline has a modular structure and can be customized to best fit input data set properties. The integrated entity relational databases store raw data and annotation analysis results. Access to the underlying databases and services is facilitated through a web-based graphical user interface. Users have the ability to browse, upload, download, and analyze preprocessed data, based on diverse search criteria. The EnGenIUS toolset was successfully tested using the Alvinella pompejana epibiont environmental genome data set, which comprises more than 300 K sequence reads. A fully browsable EnGenIUS portal is available at (http://ocean.dbi.udel.edu/) (access code: "guest"). The scope of this paper covers the implementation details and technical aspects of the EnGenIUS toolset.

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