Biomartr: genomic data retrieval with R

Bioinformatics. 2017 Apr 15;33(8):1216-1217. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw821.


Motivation: Retrieval and reproducible functional annotation of genomic data are crucial in biology. However, the current poor usability and transparency of retrieval methods hinders reproducibility. Here we present an open source R package, biomartr , which provides a comprehensive easy-to-use framework for automating data retrieval and functional annotation for meta-genomic approaches. The functions of biomartr achieve a high degree of clarity, transparency and reproducibility of analyses.

Results: The biomartr package implements straightforward functions for bulk retrieval of all genomic data or data for selected genomes, proteomes, coding sequences and annotation files present in databases hosted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). In addition, biomartr communicates with the BioMart database for functional annotation of retrieved sequences. Comprehensive documentation of biomartr functions and five tutorial vignettes provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the package in a reproducible manner.

Availability and implementation: The open source biomartr package is available at and .


Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Chemical
  • Humans
  • Metagenomics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Software*