Using quality scores and longer reads improves accuracy of Solexa read mapping

Andrew D. Smith, Zhenyu Xuan, Michael Q. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

229 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Second-generation sequencing has the potential to revolutionize genomics and impact all areas of biomedical science. New technologies will make re-sequencing widely available for such applications as identifying genome variations or interrogating the oligonucleotide content of a large sample (e.g. ChIP-sequencing). The increase in speed, sensitivity and availability of sequencing technology brings demand for advances in computational technology to perform associated analysis tasks. The Solexa/Illumina 1G sequencer can produce tens of millions of reads, ranging in length from ∼25-50 nt, in a single experiment. Accurately mapping the reads back to a reference genome is a critical task in almost all applications. Two sources of information that are often ignored when mapping reads from the Solexa technology are the 3' ends of longer reads, which contain a much higher frequency of sequencing errors, and the base-call quality scores. Results: To investigate whether these sources of information can be used to improve accuracy when mapping reads, we developed the RMAP tool, which can map reads having a wide range of lengths and allows base-call quality scores to determine which positions in each read are more important when mapping. We applied RMAP to analyze data re-sequenced from two human BAC regions for varying read lengths, and varying criteria for use of quality scores. RMAP is freely available for downloading at http://rulai.cshl.edu/rmap/. Conclusion: Our results indicate that significant gains in Solexa read mapping performance can be achieved by considering the information in 3′ ends of longer reads, and appropriately using the base-call quality scores. The RMAP tool we have developed will enable researchers to effectively exploit this information in targeted re-sequencing projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics

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