Correct and bias-free interpretation of the deep sequencing data is inevitably dependent on the complete mapping of all mappable reads to the reference sequence, especially for quantitative RNA-seq applications. Seed-based algorithms are generally slow but robust, while Burrows-Wheeler Transform (BWT) based algorithms are fast but less robust. To have both advantages, researchers at Jinan University developed an algorithm FANSe2 with iterative mapping strategy based on the statistics of real-world sequencing error distribution to substantially accelerate the mapping without compromising the accuracy. Its sensitivity and accuracy are higher than the BWT-based algorithms in the tests using both prokaryotic and eukaryotic sequencing datasets. The gene identification results of FANSe2 is experimentally validated, while the previous algorithms have false positives and false negatives. FANSe2 showed remarkably better consistency to the microarray than most other algorithms in terms of gene expression quantifications. The researchers implemented a scalable and almost maintenance-free parallelization method that can utilize the computational power of multiple office computers, a novel feature not present in any other mainstream algorithm. With three normal office computers, they demonstrated that FANSe2 mapped an RNA-seq dataset generated from an entire Illunima HiSeq 2000 flowcell (8 lanes, 608 M reads) to masked human genome within 4.1 hours with higher sensitivity than Bowtie/Bowtie2. FANSe2 thus provides robust accuracy, full indel sensitivity, fast speed, versatile compatibility and economical computational utilization, making it a useful and practical tool for deep sequencing applications.
Availability – FANSe2 is freely available at http://bioinformatics.jnu.edu.cn/software/fanse2/.