Genome assembly from synthetic long read clouds

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Motivation: Despite rapid progress in sequencing technology, assembling de novo the genomes of new species as well as reconstructing complex metagenomes remains major technological challenges. New synthetic long read (SLR) technologies promise significant advances towards these goals; however, their applicability is limited by high sequencing requirements and the inability of current assembly paradigms to cope with combinations of short and long reads.

Results: Here, we introduce Architect, a new de novo scaffolder aimed at SLR technologies. Unlike previous assembly strategies, Architect does not require a costly subassembly step; instead it assembles genomes directly from the SLR’s underlying short reads, which we refer to as read clouds. This enables a 4- to 20-fold reduction in sequencing requirements and a 5-fold increase in assembly contiguity on both genomic and metagenomic datasets relative to state-of-the-art assembly strategies aimed directly at fully subassembled long reads.

Availability and Implementation: Our source code is freely available at

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