Synteny Paths for Assembly Graphs Comparison

Authors Evgeny Polevikov, Mikhail Kolmogorov

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Evgeny Polevikov
  • Bioinformatics Institute, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Mikhail Kolmogorov
  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA


We are grateful to Dmitry Antipov, Pavel Avdeyev, Pavel Pevzner and Giulia Guidi for their helpful comments.

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Evgeny Polevikov and Mikhail Kolmogorov. Synteny Paths for Assembly Graphs Comparison. In 19th International Workshop on Algorithms in Bioinformatics (WABI 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 143, pp. 24:1-24:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


Despite the recent developments of long-read sequencing technologies, it is still difficult to produce complete assemblies of eukaryotic genomes in an automated fashion. Genome assembly software typically output assembled fragments (contigs) along with assembly graphs, that encode all possible layouts of these contigs. Graph representation of the assembled genome can be useful for gene discovery, haplotyping, structural variations analysis and other applications. To facilitate the development of new graph-based approaches, it is important to develop algorithms for comparison and evaluation of assembly graphs produced by different software. In this work, we introduce synteny paths: maximal paths of homologous sequence between the compared assembly graphs. We describe Asgan - an algorithm for efficient synteny paths decomposition, and use it to evaluate assembly graphs of various bacterial assemblies produced by different approaches. We then apply Asgan to discover structural variations between the assemblies of 15 Drosophila genomes, and show that synteny paths are robust to contig fragmentation. The Asgan tool is freely available at:

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Bioinformatics
  • Assembly graphs
  • Genome assembly
  • Synteny blocks
  • Comparative Genomics


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