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Alpaca: a kmer-based approach for investigating mosaic structures in microbial genomes

By Alex N. Salazar, Thomas Abeel

Posted 15 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/551234

Microbial genomes are often mosaic: different regions can possess different evolutionary origins due to genetic recombination. The recent feasibility to assemble microbial genomes completely and the availability of sequencing data for complete microbial populations, means that researchers can now investigate the potentially rich evolutionary history of a microbe at a much higher resolution. Here, we present Alpaca: a method to investigate mosaicism in microbial genomes based on kmer similarity of large sequencing datasets. Alpaca partitions a given assembly into various sub-regions and compares their similarity across a population of genomes. The result is a high-resolution map of an entire genome and the most similar scoring clades across the given population.

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