ViWrap: A modular pipeline to identify, bin, classify, and predict viral-host relationships for viruses from metagenomes

bioRxiv. 2023 Feb 2;2023.01.30.526317. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.30.526317. Preprint


Viruses are increasingly being recognized as important components of human and environmental microbiomes. However, viruses in microbiomes remain difficult to study because of difficulty in culturing them and the lack of sufficient model systems. As a result, computational methods for identifying and analyzing uncultivated viral genomes from metagenomes have attracted significant attention. Such bioinformatics approaches facilitate screening of viruses from enormous sequencing datasets originating from various environments. Though many tools and databases have been developed for advancing the study of viruses from metagenomes, there is a lack of integrated tools enabling a comprehensive workflow and analyses platform encompassing all the diverse segments of virus studies. Here, we developed ViWrap, a modular pipeline written in Python. ViWrap combines the power of multiple tools into a single platform to enable various steps of virus analysis including identification, annotation, genome binning, species- and genus-level clustering, assignment of taxonomy, prediction of hosts, characterization of genome quality, comprehensive summaries, and intuitive visualization of results. Overall, ViWrap enables a standardized and reproducible pipeline for both extensive and stringent characterization of viruses from metagenomes, viromes, and microbial genomes. Our approach has flexibility in using various options for diverse applications and scenarios, and its modular structure can be easily amended with additional functions as necessary. ViWrap is designed to be easily and widely used to study viruses in human and environmental systems. ViWrap is publicly available via GitHub ( ). A detailed description of the software, its usage, and interpretation of results can be found on the website.

Highlights: ViWrap integrates state-of-the-art tools and databases for comprehensive characterization and study of viruses from metagenomes and genomes.ViWrap offers a highly flexible, modular, customizable, and easy-to-use pipeline with options for various applications and scenarios.ViWrap enables a standardized and reproducible pipeline for viral metagenomics, genomics, ecology, and evolution.

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