ARDEP, a Rapid Degenerate Primer Design Pipeline Based on k-mers for Amplicon Microbiome Studies

Yueni Wu, Kai Feng, Ziyan Wei, Zhujun Wang, Ye Deng
2020 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
The survey of microbial diversity in various environments has relied upon the widespread use of well-evaluated amplification primers for taxonomic marker genes (e.g., prokaryotic 16S and fungal ITS). However, it is urgent to develop a fast and accurate bioinformatic program to design primers for microbial functional genes to explore more mechanisms in the microbial community. Here, we provide a rapid degenerate primer design pipeline (ARDEP) based on the k-mer algorithm, which can bypass the
more » ... e-consuming step of sequence alignment to greatly reduce run times while ensuring accuracy. In addition, we developed an open-access platform for the implementation of primer design projects that could also calculate the amplification product length, GC content, Annealing Temperature (Tm), and ΔG of primer self-folding, and identify covered species and functional groups. Using this new platform, we designed primers for several functional genes in the nitrogen cycle, including napA and amoA. Our newly designed primers achieved higher coverage than the commonly used primers for all tested genes. The program and the associated platform that applied the k-mer algorithm could greatly enhance the design and evaluation of primers for environmental microbiome studies.
doi:10.3390/ijerph17165958 pmid:32824566 fatcat:ei5zmpal4zfcdj5h5kapd6du5u