sanger-tol/insdcdownload v1.1.0 - Deciduous ent

Workflow Type: Nextflow


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Nextflow run with conda run with docker run with singularity

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sanger-tol/insdcdownload is a pipeline that downloads assemblies from INSDC into a Tree of Life directory structure.

The pipeline is built using Nextflow, a workflow tool to run tasks across multiple compute infrastructures in a very portable manner. It uses Docker/Singularity containers making installation trivial and results highly reproducible. The Nextflow DSL2 implementation of this pipeline uses one container per process which makes it much easier to maintain and update software dependencies. Where possible, these processes have been submitted to and installed from nf-core/modules in order to make them available to all nf-core pipelines, and to everyone within the Nextflow community!

On release, automated continuous integration tests run the pipeline on a full-sized dataset on the GitHub CI infrastructure. This ensures that the pipeline runs in a third-party environment, and has sensible resource allocation defaults set to run on real-world datasets.

Pipeline summary


The pipeline takes an assembly accession number, as well as the assembly name, and downloads it. It also builds a set of common indices (such as samtools faidx), and extracts the repeat-masking performed by the NCBI.

Steps involved:

  • Download from the NCBI the genomic sequence (Fasta) and the assembly stats and reports files.
  • Turn the masked Fasta file into an unmasked one.
  • Compress and index all Fasta files with bgzip, samtools faidx, and samtools dict.
  • Generate the .sizes file usually required for conversion of data files to UCSC's "big" formats, e.g. bigBed.
  • Extract the coordinates of the masked regions into a BED file.
  • Compress and index the BED file with bgzip and tabix.

Quick Start

  1. Install Nextflow (>=22.04.0)

  2. Install any of Docker, Singularity (you can follow this tutorial), Podman, Shifter or Charliecloud for full pipeline reproducibility (you can use Conda both to install Nextflow itself and also to manage software within pipelines. Please only use it within pipelines as a last resort; see docs).

  3. Download the pipeline and test it on a minimal dataset with a single command:

    nextflow run sanger-tol/insdcdownload -profile test,YOURPROFILE --outdir 

    Note that some form of configuration will be needed so that Nextflow knows how to fetch the required software. This is usually done in the form of a config profile (YOURPROFILE in the example command above). You can chain multiple config profiles in a comma-separated string.

    • The pipeline comes with config profiles called docker, singularity, podman, shifter, charliecloud and conda which instruct the pipeline to use the named tool for software management. For example, -profile test,docker.
    • Please check nf-core/configs to see if a custom config file to run nf-core pipelines already exists for your Institute. If so, you can simply use -profile in your command. This will enable either docker or singularity and set the appropriate execution settings for your local compute environment.
    • If you are using singularity, please use the nf-core download command to download images first, before running the pipeline. Setting the NXF_SINGULARITY_CACHEDIR or singularity.cacheDir Nextflow options enables you to store and re-use the images from a central location for future pipeline runs.
    • If you are using conda, it is highly recommended to use the NXF_CONDA_CACHEDIR or conda.cacheDir settings to store the environments in a central location for future pipeline runs.
  4. Start running your own analysis!

    nextflow run sanger-tol/insdcdownload --assembly_accession GCA_927399515.1 --assembly_name gfLaeSulp1.1 --outdir results


The sanger-tol/insdcdownload pipeline comes with documentation about the pipeline usage and output.


sanger-tol/insdcdownload was mainly written by @muffato, with major borrowings from @priyanka-surana's read-mapping pipeline, e.g. the script to remove the repeat-masking, and the overall structure and layout of the sub-workflows.

Contributions and Support

If you would like to contribute to this pipeline, please see the contributing guidelines.

For further information or help, don't hesitate to get in touch on the Slack #pipelines channel. Please create an issue on GitHub if you are not on the Sanger slack channel.


If you use sanger-tol/insdcdownload for your analysis, please cite it using the following doi: 10.5281/zenodo.7155119

An extensive list of references for the tools used by the pipeline can be found in the file.

This pipeline uses code and infrastructure developed and maintained by the nf-core community, reused here under the MIT license.

The nf-core framework for community-curated bioinformatics pipelines.

Philip Ewels, Alexander Peltzer, Sven Fillinger, Harshil Patel, Johannes Alneberg, Andreas Wilm, Maxime Ulysse Garcia, Paolo Di Tommaso & Sven Nahnsen.

Nat Biotechnol. 2020 Feb 13. doi: 10.1038/s41587-020-0439-x.

Version History

1.1.0 (earliest) Created 2nd Nov 2023 at 11:59 by Matthieu Muffato

Release 1.1.0 !

Frozen 1.1.0 ca9d966
help Creators and Submitter
  • Matthieu Muffato
  • Priyanka Surana
Muffato, M., & Surana, P. (2022). {sanger-tol/insdcdownload v1.1.0 - Deciduous ent}.

Views: 936   Downloads: 146

Created: 2nd Nov 2023 at 11:59

Last updated: 14th Nov 2023 at 11:58

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