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Genetics. 2012 Dec;192(4):1249-69. doi: 10.1534/genetics.112.144204. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

CloudMap: a cloud-based pipeline for analysis of mutant genome sequences.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Whole genome sequencing (WGS) allows researchers to pinpoint genetic differences between individuals and significantly shortcuts the costly and time-consuming part of forward genetic analysis in model organism systems. Currently, the most effort-intensive part of WGS is the bioinformatic analysis of the relatively short reads generated by second generation sequencing platforms. We describe here a novel, easily accessible and cloud-based pipeline, called CloudMap, which greatly simplifies the analysis of mutant genome sequences. Available on the Galaxy web platform, CloudMap requires no software installation when run on the cloud, but it can also be run locally or via Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. CloudMap uses a series of predefined workflows to pinpoint sequence variations in animal genomes, such as those of premutagenized and mutagenized Caenorhabditis elegans strains. In combination with a variant-based mapping procedure, CloudMap allows users to sharply define genetic map intervals graphically and to retrieve very short lists of candidate variants with a few simple clicks. Automated workflows and extensive video user guides are available to detail the individual analysis steps performed ( We demonstrate the utility of CloudMap for WGS analysis of C. elegans and Arabidopsis genomes and describe how other organisms (e.g., Zebrafish and Drosophila) can easily be accommodated by this software platform. To accommodate rapid analysis of many mutants from large-scale genetic screens, CloudMap contains an in silico complementation testing tool that allows users to rapidly identify instances where multiple alleles of the same gene are present in the mutant collection. Lastly, we describe the application of a novel mapping/WGS method ("Variant Discovery Mapping") that does not rely on a defined polymorphic mapping strain, and we integrate the application of this method into CloudMap. CloudMap tools and documentation are continually updated at

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