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RepetDB: a unified resource for transposable element references

Abstract : Background: Thanks to their ability to move around and replicate within genomes, transposable elements (TEs) are perhaps the most important contributors to genome plasticity and evolution. Their detection and annotation are considered essential in any genome sequencing project. The number of fully sequenced genomes is rapidly increasing with improvements in high-throughput sequencing technologies. A fully automated de novo annotation process for TEs is therefore required to cope with the deluge of sequence data. However, all automated procedures are error-prone, and an automated procedure for TE identification and classification would be no exception. It is therefore crucial to provide not only the TE reference sequences, but also evidence justifying their classification, at the scale of the whole genome. A few TE databases already exist, but none provides evidence to justify TE classification. Moreover, biological information about the sequences remains globally poor. Results: We present here the RepetDB database developed in the framework of GnpIS, a genetic and genomic information system. RepetDB is designed to store and retrieve detected, classified and annotated TEs in a standardized manner. RepetDB is an implementation with extensions of InterMine, an open-source data warehouse framework used here to store, search, browse, analyze and compare all the data recorded for each TE reference sequence. InterMine can display diverse information for each sequence and allows simple to very complex queries. Finally, TE data are displayed via a worldwide data discovery portal. RepetDB is accessible at Conclusions: RepetDB is designed to be a TE knowledge base populated with full de novo TE annotations of complete (or near-complete) genome sequences. Indeed, the description and classification of TEs facilitates the exploration of specific TE families, superfamilies or orders across a large range of species. It also makes possible cross-species searches and comparisons of TE family content between genomes.
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Joëlle Amselem, Guillaume Cornut, Nathalie Choisne, Michael Alaux, Françoise Alfama Depauw, et al.. RepetDB: a unified resource for transposable element references. Mobile DNA, BioMed Central, 2019, 10, pp.1-8. ⟨10.1186/s13100-019-0150-y⟩. ⟨hal-02625212⟩



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