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Gigascience. 2020 Jan 1;9(1). pii: giz158. doi: 10.1093/gigascience/giz158.

Multifaceted Hi-C benchmarking: what makes a difference in chromosome-scale genome scaffolding?

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Laboratory for Phyloinformatics, RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR), Kobe 650-0047, Japan.
Laboratory for Developmental Epigenetics, RIKEN BDR, Kobe 650-0047, Japan.



Hi-C is derived from chromosome conformation capture (3C) and targets chromatin contacts on a genomic scale. This method has also been used frequently in scaffolding nucleotide sequences obtained by de novo genome sequencing and assembly, in which the number of resultant sequences rarely converges to the chromosome number. Despite its prevalent use, the sample preparation methods for Hi-C have not been intensively discussed, especially from the standpoint of genome scaffolding.


To gain insight into the best practice of Hi-C scaffolding, we performed a multifaceted methodological comparison using vertebrate samples and optimized various factors during sample preparation, sequencing, and computation. As a result, we identified several key factors that helped improve Hi-C scaffolding, including the choice and preparation of tissues, library preparation conditions, the choice of restriction enzyme(s), and the choice of scaffolding program and its usage.


This study provides the first comparison of multiple sample preparation kits/protocols and computational programs for Hi-C scaffolding by an academic third party. We introduce a customized protocol designated "inexpensive and controllable Hi-C (iconHi-C) protocol," which incorporates the optimal conditions identified in this study, and demonstrate this technique on chromosome-scale genome sequences of the Chinese softshell turtle Pelodiscus sinensis.


Hi-C; chromosomes; genome scaffolding; proximity-guided assembly; softshell turtle

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