Motivation: Existing sequence assembly editors struggle with the volumes of data now readily available from the latest generation of DNA sequencing instruments.
Results: We describe the Gap5 software along with the data structures and algorithms used that allow it to be scalable. We demonstrate this with an assembly of 1.1 billion sequence fragments and compare the performance with several other programs. We analyse the memory, CPU, I/O usage and file sizes used by Gap5.
Availability and implementation: Gap5 is part of the Staden Package and is available under an Open Source licence from http://staden.sourceforge.net. It is implemented in C and Tcl/Tk. Currently it works on Unix systems only.