sRNAPipe: a Galaxy-based pipeline for bioinformatic in-depth exploration of small RNAseq data

Mob DNA. 2018 Jul 31:9:25. doi: 10.1186/s13100-018-0130-7. eCollection 2018.


Background: The field of small RNA is one of the most investigated research areas since they were shown to regulate transposable elements and gene expression and play essential roles in fundamental biological processes. Small RNA deep sequencing (sRNA-seq) is now routinely used for large-scale analyses of small RNA. Such high-throughput sequencing typically produces several millions reads.

Results: Here we present a computational pipeline (sRNAPipe: small RNA pipeline) based on the Galaxy framework that takes as input a fastq file of small RNA-seq reads and performs successive steps of mapping to categories of genomic sequences: transposable elements, gene transcripts, microRNAs, small nuclear RNAs, ribosomal RNAs and transfer RNAs. It also provides individual mapping and counting for chromosomes, transposable elements and gene transcripts, normalization, small RNA length analysis and plotting of the data along genomic coordinates to build publication-quality graphs and figures. sRNAPipe evaluates 10-nucleotide 5'-overlaps of reads on opposite strands to test ping-pong amplification for putative PIWI-interacting RNAs, providing counts of overlaps and corresponding z-scores.

Conclusions: sRNAPipe is easy to use and does not require command-line or coding knowledge. This pipeline gives quick visual and quantitative results, which are usable for publications. sRNAPipe is freely available as a Galaxy tool and via GitHub.

Keywords: Bioinformatics analyses; Galaxy; Pipeline; Small RNA sequencing; sRNA-Seq.