In this chapter, you will get hands-on with Bioconductor. Bioconductor is the specialized repository for bioinformatics software, developed and maintained by the R community. You will learn how to install and use bioconductor packages. You'll be introduced to S4 objects and functions, because most packages within Bioconductor inherit from S4. Additionally, you will use a real genomic dataset of a fungus to explore the BSgenome package.
Biostrings are memory efficient string containers. Biostring has matching algorithms, and other utilities, for fast manipulation of large biological sequences or sets of sequences. How efficient you can become by using the right containers for your sequences? You will learn about alphabets, and sequence manipulation by using the tiny genome of a virus.
The IRanges and GenomicRanges packages are also containers for storing and manipulating genomic intervals and variables defined along a genome. These packages provide infrastructure and support to many other Bioconductor packages because of their enriching features. You will learn how to use these containers and their associated metadata, for manipulation of your sequences. The dataset you will be looking at is a special gene of interest in the human genome.
ShortRead is the package for input, manipulation and assessment of fasta and fastq files. You can subset, trim and filter the sequences of interest, and even do a report of quality. An extra bonus towards the last exercises will give you the tools for parallel quality assessment, wink, wink Rqc. Exciting enough, for this you will use plant genome sequences!