Mantis: flexible and consensus-driven genome annotation

The rapid development of the (meta-)omics fields has produced an unprecedented amount of high-resolution and high-fidelity data. Through the use of these datasets we can infer the role of previously functionally unannotated proteins from single organisms and consortia. In this context, protein function annotation can be described as the identification of regions of interest (i.e., domains) in protein sequences and the assignment of biological functions. Despite the existence of numerous tools, challenges remain in terms of speed, flexibility, and reproducibility. In the big data era, it is also increasingly important to cease limiting our findings to a single reference, coalescing knowledge from different data sources, and thus overcoming some limitations in overly relying on computationally generated data from single sources.

We implemented a protein annotation tool, Mantis, which uses database identifiers intersection and text mining to integrate knowledge from multiple reference data sources into a single consensus-driven output. Mantis is flexible, allowing for the customization of reference data and execution parameters, and is reproducible across different research goals and user environments. The parallelized implementation of Mantis results in short runtimes while also outputting high coverage and high-quality protein function annotations.

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