Genome Standards Consortium Proposes Common Practices for Sequence Reporting


Led by scientists from the DOE Joint Genome Institute, representatives from major high-throughput sequencing centers have jointly published new standards for published genome sequences in the October 9 issue of the journal Science. The proposal posits a tiered set of community-defined categories that increase in rigor and should better reflect the quality of the genome sequences being released. The proposal avoids rigid numerical thresholds in order to remain responsive to rapidly changing sequencing technologies. The proposal also accommodates a growing list of alternative types of genome sequencing projects, such as environmental (metagenomic) or single-cell sequencing. Responses from genome database repositories have been positive and implementation of these standards as a requirement for genome submissions is expected. This common currency in defining the products of genome projects will enable better management of expectations and allow users of genomic data to assess the quality of the deposited available sequences and decide whether these meet their needs.