CAFE: aCcelerated Alignment-FrEe sequence analysis.


Alignment-free genome and metagenome comparisons are increasingly important with the development of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Recently developed state-of-the-art k-mer based alignment-free dissimilarity measures including CVTree, $d_2^*$ and $d_2^S$ are more computationally expensive than measures based solely on the k-mer frequencies. Here, we report a standalone software, aCcelerated Alignment-FrEe sequence analysis (CAFE), for efficient calculation of 28 alignment-free dissimilarity measures. CAFE allows for both assembled genome sequences and unassembled NGS shotgun reads as input, and wraps the output in a standard PHYLIP format. In downstream analyses, CAFE can also be used to visualize the pairwise dissimilarity measures, including dendrograms, heatmap, principal coordinate analysis and network display. CAFE serves as a general k-mer based alignment-free analysis platform for studying the relationships among genomes and metagenomes, and is freely available at

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