Background: Significant progress has been made in advancing and standardizing tools for human genomic and biomedical research. Yet, the field of next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis for microorganisms (including multiple pathogens) remains fragmented, lacks accessible and reusable tools, is hindered by local computational resource limitations, and does not offer widely accepted standards. One such “problem areas” is the analysis of Transposon Insertion Sequencing (TIS) data. TIS allows probing of almost the entire genome of a microorganism by introducing random insertions of transposon-derived constructs. The impact of the insertions on the survival and growth under specific conditions provides precise information about genes affecting specific phenotypic characteristics. A wide array of tools has been developed to analyze TIS data. Among the variety of options available, it is often difficult to identify which one can provide a reliable and reproducible analysis. Results: Here we sought to understand the challenges and propose reliable practices for the analysis of TIS experiments. Using data from two recent TIS studies, we have developed a series of workflows that include multiple tools for data de-multiplexing, promoter sequence identification, transposon flank alignment, and read count repartition across the genome. Particular attention was paid to quality control procedures, such as determining the optimal tool parameters for the analysis and removal of contamination. Conclusions: Our work provides an assessment of the currently available tools for TIS data analysis. It offers ready to use workflows that can be invoked by anyone in the world using our public Galaxy platform (https://usegalaxy.org). To lower the entry barriers, we have also developed interactive tutorials explaining details of TIS data analysis procedures at https://bit.ly/gxy-tis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)