The somatic recombination of V, D, and J gene segments in B-cells introduces a great deal of diversity, and divergence from reference segments. Many recent studies of antibodies focus on the population of antibody transcripts that show which V, D, and J gene segments have been favored for a particular antigen, a repertoire. To properly describe the antibody repertoire, each antibody must be labeled by its constituting V, D, and J gene segment, a task made difficult by somatic recombination and hypermutation events. While previous approaches to repertoire analysis were based on sequential alignments, we describe a new de Bruijn graph-based algorithm to perform VDJ labeling and benchmark its performance.
Keywords: antibody repertoire analysis; de Bruijn graph; immunoglobulin classification.