6th February 2015 - Genome Research
Monitoring the progress of DNA molecules through a membrane pore has been postulated as a method for sequencing DNA for several decades. Recently, a nanopore-based sequencing instrument, the Oxford Nanopore MinION, has become available, and we used this for sequencing the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. To make use of these data, we developed a novel open-source hybrid error correction algorithm Nanocorr specifically for Oxford Nanopore reads, because existing packages were incapable of assembling the long read lengths (5–50 kbp) at such high error rates (between ∼5% and 40% error). With this new method, we were able to perform a hybrid error correction of the nanopore reads using complementary MiSeq data and produce a de novo assembly that is highly contiguous and accurate: The contig N50 length is more than ten times greater than an Illumina-only assembly (678 kb versus 59.9 kbp) and has >99.88% consensus identity when compared to the reference. Furthermore, the assembly with the long nanopore reads presents a much more complete representation of the features of the genome and correctly assembles gene cassettes, rRNAs, transposable elements, and other genomic features that were almost entirely absent in the Illumina-only assembly.