While the continued development of high-throughput sequencing has facilitated studies of entire transcriptomes in non-model organisms, the incorporation of an increasing amount of RNA-Seq libraries has made de novo transcriptome assembly difficult. Although algorithms that can assemble a large amount of RNA-Seq data are available, they are generally very memory-intensive and can only be used to construct small assemblies.
Texas A&M University researchers develop a divide-and-conquer strategy that allows these algorithms to be utilized, by subdividing a large RNA-Seq data set into small libraries. Each individual library is assembled independently by an existing algorithm, and a merging algorithm is developed to combine these assemblies by picking a subset of high quality transcripts to form a large transcriptome. When compared to existing algorithms that return a single assembly directly, this strategy achieves comparable or increased accuracy as memory-efficient algorithms that can be used to process a large amount of RNA-Seq data, and comparable or decreased accuracy as memory-intensive algorithms that can only be used to construct small assemblies.
The divide-and-conquer strategy
A large RNA-Seq data set is subdivided into small libraries. Each individual library is assembled independently, and a merging algorithm is employed to combine the small assemblies into a large transcriptome