Taxallnomy: Closing gaps in the NCBI Taxonomy [article]

Tetsu Sakamoto, J. Miguel Ortega
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
NCBI Taxonomy is the main taxonomic source for several bioinformatics tools and databases since all organisms with sequence accessions deposited on INSDC are organized in its hierarchical structure. Despite the extensive use and application of this data source, taking advantage of its taxonomic tree could be challenging because (1) some taxonomic ranks are missing in some lineages and (2) some nodes in the tree do not have a taxonomic rank assigned (referred to as "no rank"). To address this
more » ... ue, we developed an algorithm that takes the tree structure from NCBI Taxonomy and generates a hierarchically complete taxonomic tree. The procedures performed by the algorithm consist of attempting to assign a taxonomic rank to "no rank" nodes and of creating/deleting nodes throughout the tree. The algorithm also creates a name for the new nodes by borrowing the names from its ranked child or, if there is no child, from its ranked parent node. The new hierarchical structure was named taxallnomy and it contains 33 hierarchical levels corresponding to the 33 taxonomic ranks currently used in the NCBI Taxonomy database. From taxallnomy, users can obtain the complete taxonomic lineage with 33 nodes of all taxa available in the NCBI Taxonomy database. Taxallnomy is applicable to several bioinformatics analyses that depend on NCBI Taxonomy data. In this work, we demonstrate its applicability by embedding taxonomic information of a specified rank into a phylogenetic tree; and by making metagenomics profiles. Taxallnomy algorithm was written in PERL and all its resources are available at
doi:10.1101/2020.05.28.119461 fatcat:g5v4hkhysnhszbuephnavokmhu