10th January 2015 - Bioinformatics
Motivation: Nanopore sequencing may be the next disruptive technology in genomics, due to its ability to detect single DNA molecules without prior amplification, lack of reliance on expensive optical components, and the ability to sequence very long fragments. The MinION™ from Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) is the first nanopore sequencer to be commercialised and is now available to early-access users. The MinION is a USB-connected, portable nanopore sequencer which permits real-time analysis of streaming event data. Currently, the research community lacks a standardized toolkit for the analysis of nanopore datasets.
Results: We introduce poretools, a flexible toolkit for exploring datasets generated by nanopore sequencing devices from MinION for the purposes of quality control and downstream analysis. Poretools operates directly on the native FAST5 (a variant of the HDF5 standard) file format produced by ONT and provides a wealth of format conversion utilities and data exploration and visualisation tools.
Availability and implementation: Poretools is open source software and is written in Python as both a suite of command line utilities and a Python application programming interface. Source code and user documentation are freely available in Github at https://github.com/arq5x/poretools
Supplementary information: An IPython notebook demonstrating the use and functionality of poretools is in Github.