MAIRA: Protein-based Analysis of MinION Reads on a Laptop

02. Juni, 2023

Caner Bağcı 1 2Benjamin Albrecht 3Daniel H Huson 4


Third-generation sequencing technologies are being increasingly used in microbiome research and this has given rise to new challenges in computational microbiome analysis. Oxford Nanopore’s MinION is a portable sequencer that streams data that can be basecalled on-the-fly. Here we give an introduction to the MAIRA software, which is designed to analyze MinION sequencing reads from a microbiome sample, as they are produced in real-time, on a laptop. The software processes reads in batches and updates the presented analysis after each batch. There are two analysis steps: First, protein alignments are calculated to determine which genera might be present in a sample. When strong evidence for a genus is found, then, in a second step, a more detailed analysis is performed by aligning the reads against the proteins of all species in the detected genus. The program presents a detailed analysis of species, antibiotic resistance genes, and virulence factors.

Keywords: Functional profiling; Microbiome sequencing; Real-time analysis; Software; Taxonomic profiling.