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REINDEER: efficient indexing of k-mer presence and abundance in sequencing datasets

Bioinformatics Marchet C, Iqbal Z, Gautheret D, Salson M, Chikhi R.

Motivation: In this work we present REINDEER, a novel computational method that performs indexing of sequences and records their abundances across a collection of datasets. To the best of our knowledge, other indexing methods have so far been unable to record abundances efficiently across large datasets.

Results: We used REINDEER to index the abundances of sequences within 2585 human RNA-seq experiments in 45 h using only 56 GB of RAM. This makes REINDEER the first method able to record abundances at the scale of ∼4 billion distinct k-mers across 2585 datasets. REINDEER also supports exact presence/absence queries of k-mers. Briefly, REINDEER constructs the compacted de Bruijn graph of each dataset, then conceptually merges those de Bruijn graphs into a single global one. Then, REINDEER constructs and indexes monotigs, which in a nutshell are groups of k-mers of similar abundances.

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