With sequencing speed increasing and cost decreasing, some have estimated that public databases will house 12,000 draft genomes by 2012. But because the quality and completion of these genomes varies dramatically, the authors suggest new standards are needed to classify draft and finished genomes — and everything in between.
“Exponential leaps in raw sequencing capability and greatly reduced prices have further skewed the time- and cost-ratios of draft data generation versus the painstaking process of improving and finishing a genome,” the authors wrote. “The result is an ever-widening gap between drafted and finished genomes that only promises to continue; hence, there is an urgent need to distinguish good from poor data sets.”
To combat problems and confusion in the future, the researchers suggested four categories between “standard draft” and “finished” genomes: “high quality draft” genomes, “improved high quality draft” genomes, “annotation directed improvement” genomes, and “non-contiguous finished” genomes.
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