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GRASS: a generic algorithm for scaffolding next-generation sequencing assemblies.


GRASS (GeneRic ASsembly Scaffolder)-a novel algorithm for scaffolding second-generation sequencing assemblies capable of using diverse information sources. GRASS offers a mixed-integer programming formulation of the contig scaffolding problem, which combines contig order, distance and orientation in a single optimization objective. The resulting optimization problem is solved using an expectation-maximization procedure and an unconstrained binary quadratic programming approximation of the original problem. We compared GRASS with existing HTS scaffolders using Illumina paired reads of three bacterial genomes. Our algorithm constructs a comparable number of scaffolds, but makes fewer errors. This result is further improved when additional data, in the form of related genome sequences, are used.