TOPAZ: asymmetric suffix array neighbourhood search for massive protein databases

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BMC Bioinformatics. 2018 Jul 31;19(1):278

Title: TOPAZ: asymmetric suffix array neighbourhood search for massive protein databases
Author: Medlar, Alan; Holm, Liisa
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2018-07-31
Language: en
Abstract: Abstract Background Protein homology search is an important, yet time-consuming, step in everything from protein annotation to metagenomics. Its application, however, has become increasingly challenging, due to the exponential growth of protein databases. In order to perform homology search at the required scale, many methods have been proposed as alternatives to BLAST that make an explicit trade-off between sensitivity and speed. One such method, SANSparallel, uses a parallel implementation of the suffix array neighbourhood search (SANS) technique to achieve high speed and provides several modes to allow for greater sensitivity at the expense of performance. Results We present a new approach called asymmetric SANS together with scored seeds and an alternative suffix array ordering scheme called optimal substitution ordering. These techniques dramatically improve both the sensitivity and speed of the SANS approach. Our implementation, TOPAZ, is one of the top performing methods in terms of speed, sensitivity and scalability. In our benchmark, searching UniProtKB for homologous proteins to the Dickeya solani proteome, TOPAZ took less than 3 minutes to achieve a sensitivity of 0.84 compared to BLAST. Conclusions Despite the trade-off homology search methods have to make between sensitivity and speed, TOPAZ stands out as one of the most sensitive and highest performance methods currently available.
Subject: Homology search
Suffix arrays

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