Contaminant oligonucleotide sequences such as primers and adapters can occur in both ends of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) reads. AlienTrimmer was developed in order to detect and remove such contaminants. Based on the decomposition of specified alien nucleotide sequences into k-mers, AlienTrimmer is able to determine whether such alien k-mers are occurring in one or in both read ends by using a simple polynomial algorithm. Therefore, AlienTrimmer can process typical HTS single- or paired-end files with millions of reads in several minutes with very low computer resources. Based on the analysis of both simulated and real-case Illumina®, 454™ and Ion Torrent™ read data, we show that AlienTrimmer performs with excellent accuracy and speed in comparison with other trimming tools. The program is freely available at ftp://ftp.pasteur.fr/pub/gensoft/projects/AlienTrimmer/.
Keywords: Adapter oligonucleotides; High-throughput sequencing; Polynomial algorithm; Raw read trimming; Short contaminant sequence; k-mer decomposition.