MetaCompass: reference-guided assembly of metagenomes


Metagenomic studies have primarily relied on de novo approaches for reconstructing genes and genomes from microbial mixtures. While database driven approaches have been employed in certain analyses, they have not been used in the assembly of metagenomes. Here we describe the first effective approach for reference-guided metagenomic assembly of low-abundance bacterial genomes that can complement and improve upon de novo metagenomic assembly methods. When combined with de novo assembly approaches, we show that MetaCompass can generate more complete assemblies than can be obtained by de novo assembly alone, and improve on assemblies from the Human Microbiome Project (over 2,000 samples).