MAIRA: New Program for Metagenomic Sequencing Data Analysis

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MAIRA-metagenomics analysis

MAIRA is a new software for taxonomic and functional analysis of long reads without requiring any external resource [1]. It can easily facilitate the execution of metagenomic analysis pipelines on a local computer. It is fast and allows users to perform several analyses in real-time including genus-level analysis and frame-shift alignment of DNA reads.

The main advantage of this software is that it can be easily run on a laptop without any external source support, especially when we have to use workstations for large datasets.

How does MAIRA work?

The complete workflow of MAIRA is shown in Figure 1.

  1. At first, long reads obtained from a sequencing device are aligned at the protein level against a precomputed database of genus-specific marker genes.
  2. Based on this alignment, the genus profile is made in real-time.
  3. The user triggers the presence of specific genera which marks the ‘On-demand species-level analysis’.
  4. The protein alignment obtained at the second step is aligned against a full database of proteins associated with the triggered genus.
  5. Finally, a protein graph is generated including the details about the identification of species, resistance, and virulence factors.

Fig. 1

Figure 1 The complete workflow of MAIRA (Figure source: Albrecht et al., 2020) [1].

The software can be downloaded from here.

For further details about MAIRA, read here.


  1. Albrecht, B., Bağcı, C., & Huson, D. H. (2020). MAIRA-real-time taxonomic and functional analysis of long reads on a laptop. BMC bioinformatics21(13), 1-12.
Tariq is founder of Bioinformatics Review and a professional Software Developer at IQL Technologies. His areas of expertise include algorithm design, phylogenetics, MicroArray, Plant Systematics, and genome data analysis. If you have questions, reach out to him via his homepage.

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