VIROME: Viral Informatics Resource for Metagenome Exploration: a web-based application for annotation and analysis of viral metagenomes

Bhavsar, Jaysheel D.
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University of Delaware
Recent developments in sequencing technology have allowed metagenomic studies to become an increasingly common method for assessment of microbial communities and viral assemblages. Many existing resources for analysis of metagenomic data are designed for the needs of bacterial metagenomic studies, but few address issues specific to viruses. Most notable among these limitations is the lack of solutions for functional and taxonomic annotation of viral metagenomes. Presented is the Viral Informatics Resource for Metagenome Exploration (VIROME) a web-based application for annotation and analysis of viral metagenomes. VIROME leverages a large database of known and environmental proteins to assess the potential identity of open reading frames (ORFs) within sequences. The analysis pipeline combines a variety of existing and novel resources to automatically form consensus annotations for a given ORF or sequence. The VIROME web interface allows the user to search metagenomes by BLAST, protein family, and functional/taxonomic annotations (among others). Interactive library statistics provide key information summaries at a glance, while enabling the user to directly browse the underlying data by "drilling-down" to increasingly specific levels of resolution. With over 23,028,372 ORFs across 109 libraries from diverse range of environments VIROME acts as a repository for published and contributed metagenome sequence data from viral assemblages.