Bacteriophages are the most abundant biological entity on the planet, but at the same time do not account for much of the genetic material isolated from most environments due to their small genome sizes. They also show great genetic diversity and mosaic genomes making it challenging to analyze and understand them. Here we present MetaPhinder, a method to identify assembled genomic fragments (i.e. contigs) of phage origin in metage-nomic data sets. The method is based on a comparison to a database of whole genome bacteriophage sequences, integrating hits to multiple genomes to accomodate for the mosaic genome structure of many bacteriophages. The method is demonstrated to outperform both BLAST methods based on single hits and methods based on k-mer comparisons. MetaPhinder is available as a web service at the Center for Genomic Epidemiology https://cge.cbs.dtu.dk/services/MetaPhinder/, while the source code can be downloaded from https://bitbucket.org/genomicepidemiology/metaphinder or https://github.com/vanessajurtz/MetaPhinder.
Bibliographical noteThis is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Jurtz, V. I., Villarroel, J., Lund, O., Larsen, M. V., & Nielsen, M. (2016). MetaPhinder-Identifying Bacteriophage Sequences in Metagenomic Data Sets. P L o S One, 11(9), [e0163111]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163111