MLSTar: automatic multilocus sequence typing of bacterial genomes in R
Iraola, Gregorio [Univ Mayor, Ctr Biol Integrat, Santiago, Chile]
Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) is a standard tool in population genetics and bacterial epidemiology that assesses the genetic variation present in a reduced number of housekeeping genes (typically seven) along the genome. This methodology assigns arbitrary integer identifiers to genetic variations at these loci which allows us to efficiently compare bacterial isolates using allele-based methods. Now, the increasing availability of whole-genome sequences for hundreds to thousands of strains from the same bacterial species has allowed us to apply and extend MLST schemes by automatic extraction of allele information from the genomes. The PubMLST database is the most comprehensive resource of described schemes available for a wide variety of species. Here we present MLSTar as the first R package that allows us to (i) connect with the PubMLST database to select a target scheme, (ii) screen a desired set of genomes to assign alleles and sequence types, and (iii) interact with other widely used R packages to analyze and produce graphical representations of the data. We applied MLSTar to analyze more than 2,500 bacterial genomes from different species, showing great accuracy, and comparable performance with previously published command-line tools. MLSTar can be freely downloaded from http://github.com/iferres/MLSTar.
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