The short read lengths of current high-throughput sequencing technologies limit the ability to recover long-range haplotype information. Dilution pool methods for preparing DNA sequencing libraries from high molecular weight DNA fragments enable the recovery of long DNA fragments from short sequence reads. These approaches require computational methods for identifying the DNA fragments using aligned sequence reads and assembling the fragments into long haplotypes. Although a number of computational methods have been developed for haplotype assembly, the problem of identifying DNA fragments from dilution pool sequence data has not received much attention.


We formulate the problem of detecting DNA fragments from dilution pool sequencing experiments as a genome segmentation problem and develop an algorithm that uses dynamic programming to optimize a likelihood function derived from a generative model for the sequence reads. This algorithm uses an iterative approach to automatically infer the mean background read depth and the number of fragments in each pool. Using simulated data, we demonstrate that our method, FragmentCut, has 25–30% greater sensitivity compared with an HMM based method for fragment detection and can also detect overlapping fragments. On a whole-genome human fosmid pool dataset, the haplotypes assembled using the fragments identified by FragmentCut had greater N50 length, 16.2% lower switch error rate and 35.8% lower mismatch error rate compared with two existing methods. We further demonstrate the greater accuracy of our method using two additional dilution pool datasets.

Availability and implementation

FragmentCut is available from

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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