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Large scale comparative genomics tools: annotate genomes, do pangenome, core/persistent genome, align core/persistent families, infer phylogenetic tree.

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License (AGPL version 3) pipeline status coverage report

This README file provides some essential information to install/use PanACoTA. But it is better to read the full documentation, providing more details :


PanACoTA (PANgenome with Annotations, COre identification, Tree and corresponding Alignments) is a software providing tools for large scale bacterial comparative genomics. You can download all refseq genomes for a given species, or use your set of complete and/or draft genomes, to:

  • Do a quality control of your strains, to eliminate poor quality genomes, which would not give any information for the comparative study
  • Uniformly annotate all genomes (with functional annotation, or only syntactic annotation, according to your needs)
  • Do a Pan-genome
  • Do a Core or Persistent genome
  • Align all Core/Persistent families
  • Infer a phylogenetic tree from the Core/Persistent families


If you use PanACoTA, please cite:

Amandine Perrin, Eduardo P. C. Rocha, PanACoTA: a modular tool for massive microbial comparative genomics, NAR Genomics and Bioinformatics, Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2021 DOI:10.1093/nargab/lqaa106

Content of this README:






PanACoTA is written in python3. So, you need python3 (and pip3 for installation) to run it.

Then, PanACoTA has several external dependencies. If you use singularity installation (for ex. to run on a cluster), you do not need to install any dependency. Otherwise, install only the one(s) you need, according to the module(s) you want to use:

  • For prepare module: mash (to filter genomes)
  • For annotate module: prokka and/or prodigal (to uniformly annotate your genomes)
  • For pangenome module: mmseqs (to generate pangenomes)
  • For align module: mafft (to align persistent genome)
  • For tree module: At least one of those softwares, to infer a phylogenetic tree:

To be able to install the dependencies, make sure you already have:

  • tar
  • git
  • wget
  • bioperl, java and some other base packages required for prokka: see Prokka README for more information.

For FastTree, we advise to download C code from here, and compile it using:

gcc -DOPENMP -fopenmp -DUSE_DOUBLE -Wall -O3 -finline-functions -funroll-loops -o FastTreeMP FastTree-2.1.9.c -lm

You can then add the output FastTreeMP to your $PATH to be able to run it from everywhere.

Installing PanACoTA and update

You have different possibilities to install PanACoTa.

Warning: If you plan to work on the scripts, choose the development installation (see Development section).

From pip

PyPI version

A very simple way to install the last stable version. This will install files in your python site-packages folder.

pip install panacota

And to get new version:

pip install panacota --upgrade

If you have permission issues, you can either use 'sudo' before the previous command lines to install it as root, or add the --user option to install it locally.

From github repository

This allows you to get the very last version, and be able to test the last enhancements before they are uploaded to the other platforms. For that, go to where you want to install it (<your_dir>), and type:

git clone

This will create a repository called PanACoTA, containing the content of this github repository. To install PanACoTA:

cd PanACoTA 

If you have permission issues, you can either use 'sudo' before the previous command lines to install it as root, or add the --user option to install it locally.

To update to new version, go back to your repository:

cd <your_dir>/PanACoTA
git pull
./make upgrade

From singularity image

Very useful if you do not have permission rights on the computer, such as, for example, on a cluster. The other advantage is that you do not need to install any dependence (except singularity itself of course). Singularity image includes all of them. You just have to download 1 file, and nothing will be installed anywhere on your computer.

First, download the singularity image:

singularity pull --name panacota.img docker://gempasteur/panacota[:<version>] 

If you want a specific version, like version 1.0, specify docker://gempasteur/panacota:1.0.

To get latest version:

singularity pull --name panacota.img docker://gempasteur/panacota

(This is the same as singularity pull --name panacota.img docker://gempasteur/panacota:latest)

It will replace your file panacota.img by a new one corresponding to the latest version.

From conda

install with bioconda Anaconda-Server Badge

Be careful while using conda, especially if you are not familiar with it. We advise to install PanACoTA in a dedicated conda environment, in order to avoid unwanted interactions with other softwares (like needed versions of dependencies automatically installed by conda). To install the package, use conda install -c bioconda panacota. But, as described in conda documentation, we advise to install it with:

# Create an environment: This creates the 'myenv' environment in '/envs/'. No packages will be installed in this environment.
conda create --name myenv
# Activate the environment
conda activate myenv
# Install PanACoTA
conda install -c bioconda panacota
# When you have finished using PanACoTA, deactivate environment
conda deactivate

To update to new version:

conda update panacota

From zip version

For people wanting to download source code of a specific version, we provide releases. You can download last one here: GitHub release

Uninstalling PanACoTA

If you don't want PanACoTA anymore uninstall it by typing:

pip unintall panacota  # If you installed from pip
./make uninstall  # If you installed from github repository

Or, if you used singularity, just remove the downloaded image: rm -r panacota.img

Running PanACoTA

Quick run

PanACoTA contains 6 different subcommands:

  • prepare (download genomes from refseq if you want to, or give your input database, to run a filtering quality control). To help you find NCBI species taxid you need, you can use their taxonomy browser.
  • annotate (annotate all genomes of the dataset, after a quality control)
  • pangenome (generate pan-genome)
  • corepers (generate core-genome or persistent-genome)
  • align (align core/persistent families)
  • tree (infer phylogenetic tree from persistent genome)

You can run them by typing:

PanACoTA <subcommand_name> <arguments_for_subcommand>

Each subcommand has its own options and inputs. To get the list of required arguments and other available options for the subcommand you want to run, type:

PanACoTA <subcommand> -h

When using singularity, just replace PanACoTA by ./panacota.img:

./panacota.img <subcommand_name> <arguments_for_subcommand>  
./panacota.img -h 

It also provides a subcommand PanACoTA all to run all modules in a row.


We provide a folder, Examples, containing genomic sequences (in Examples/genomes) and examples of input files (in Examples/input_files) for the software. In the example part of documentation, you will find information explaining you how to run the different modules of PanACoTA with this dataset, so that you can try the software. We also describe the results that should be created by each command line.

Note: the provided genomic sequences are taken from real genomes, but then modified and drastically shortened in order to have an example showing different situations, but running very fast. Hence, the examples results should not be interpreted biologically!


You can find more information in PanACoTA documentation!


This part is for people who want to work on developing PanACoTA package. In the documentation, there is a part dedicated to developers.

PanACoTA is also hosted in gitlab, where all CI is done. Here is the link:

Installing PanACoTA (development mode)

If you want to install PanACoTA while still working on modifying the scripts, use ./make develop instead of ./make install once you have cloned the repository.

Your changes will then be taken into account. As you installed the package, you will be able to run it from any directory in your computer.

If you don't want to install the software, you can still test it, and contribute to the tests and documentation by installing the libraries needed for the software, and those needed for development by running:

pip3 install -r requirements.txt  # dependencies used by PanACoTA
pip3 install -r requirements-dev.txt  # libraries used to run tests, generate documentation etc.

Note: biopython is only used for 'tree' subcommand, with option --soft fastme or --soft quicktree. If you do not plan to use this, you do not need to install biopython. You can comment the biopython>=1.60 line in requirements.txt (add a # at the beginning of the line).

Running Tests

If you want to work on the scripts, you can use the tests provided with the software, used to check each of its functionalities. To run the tests, run, from the root of the project:

PYTHONPATH+=. py.test test/test_unit
PYTHONPATH+=. py.test test/test_functional

or, if you installed the package (final or development mode):

py.test test/test_unit
py.test test/test_functional

Add -sv for more details on each test.

Contributing to documentation

The full documentation, found here is generated with sphinx. You can add your contribution to it. To generate the html documentation locally, go to doc/sources directory, and run:

make html

Then, open doc/build/html/index.html on your browser.

The online version will be automatically updated when pushed on master branch.

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