de Bruijn graphs play an essential role in bioinformatics, yet they lack a universal scalable representation. Here, we introduce simplitigs as a compact, efficient, and scalable representation, and ProphAsm, a fast algorithm for their computation. For the example of assemblies of model organisms and two bacterial pan-genomes, we compare simplitigs to unitigs, the best existing representation, and demonstrate that simplitigs provide a substantial improvement in the cumulative sequence length and their number. When combined with the commonly used Burrows-Wheeler Transform index, simplitigs reduce memory, and index loading and query times, as demonstrated with large-scale examples of GenBank bacterial pan-genomes.
- Data compression
- de Bruijn graph representation
- de Bruijn graphs
- Sequence analysis