Hardware Performance Evaluation of de novo Transcriptome Assembly Software in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Author(s): Fernando Mora-Márquez, José Luis Vázquez-Poletti, Víctor Chano, Carmen Collada, Álvaro Soto, Unai López de Heredia*.

Journal Name: Current Bioinformatics

Volume 15 , Issue 5 , 2020

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Background: Bioinformatics software for RNA-seq analysis has a high computational requirement in terms of the number of CPUs, RAM size, and processor characteristics. Specifically, de novo transcriptome assembly demands large computational infrastructure due to the massive data size, and complexity of the algorithms employed. Comparative studies on the quality of the transcriptome yielded by de novo assemblers have been previously published, lacking, however, a hardware efficiency-oriented approach to help select the assembly hardware platform in a cost-efficient way.

Objective: We tested the performance of two popular de novo transcriptome assemblers, Trinity and SOAPdenovo-Trans (SDNT), in terms of cost-efficiency and quality to assess limitations, and provided troubleshooting and guidelines to run transcriptome assemblies efficiently.

Method: We built virtual machines with different hardware characteristics (CPU number, RAM size) in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud of the Amazon Web Services. Using simulated and real data sets, we measured the elapsed time, cost, CPU percentage and output size of small and large data set assemblies.

Results: For small data sets, SDNT outperformed Trinity by an order the magnitude, significantly reducing the time duration and costs of the assembly. For large data sets, Trinity performed better than SDNT. Both the assemblers provide good quality transcriptomes.

Conclusion: The selection of the optimal transcriptome assembler and provision of computational resources depend on the combined effect of size and complexity of RNA-seq experiments.

Keywords: Cloud computing, cost-efficiency, quality, RNA-seq, transcriptome.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Page: [420 - 430]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/1574893615666191219095817
Price: $95

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