SimulaTE: simulating complex landscapes of transposable elements of populations

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Abstract

Motivation

Estimating the abundance of transposable elements (TEs) in populations (or tissues) promises to answer many open research questions. However, progress is hampered by the lack of concordance between different approaches for TE identification and thus potentially unreliable results.

Results

To address this problem, we developed SimulaTE a tool that generates TE landscapes for populations using a newly developed domain specific language (DSL). The simple syntax of our DSL allows for easily building even complex TE landscapes that have, for example, nested, truncated and highly diverged TE insertions. Reads may be simulated for the populations using different sequencing technologies (PacBio, Illumina paired-ends) and strategies (sequencing individuals and pooled populations). The comparison between the expected (i.e. simulated) and the observed results will guide researchers in finding the most suitable approach for a particular research question.

Availability and implementation

SimulaTE is implemented in Python and available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/simulates/. Manual https://sourceforge.net/p/simulates/wiki/Home/#manual; Test data and tutorials https://sourceforge.net/p/simulates/wiki/Home/#walkthrough; Validation https://sourceforge.net/p/simulates/wiki/Home/#validation.

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