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Mapping NGS


NGS data are just a bunch of sequences, you have no idea which region in the genome each sequences comes from, which gene it represents...
To know that you have to align the sequences to the reference sequence. The reference sequence is in most cases the full genome sequence but sometimes, a library of EST sequences is used.
In either way, aligning your sequence reads to the reference sequence is called mapping.

The most used mappers of DNA-seq data are BWA and Bowtie for DNA-Seq data and TophatSTAR or HISAT for RNA-Seq data. Mappers differ in which options they can take in, how fast and how accurate they are. Bowtie is faster than BWA, but looses some sensitivity (does not map an equal amount of reads to the correct position in the genome).