Using the RAST prokaryotic genome annotation server

RAST is designed to rapidly call and annotate the genes of a complete or essentially complete prokaryotic genome.
RAST, Rapid Annotations based on Subsystem Technology, uses a "Highest Confidence First" assignment
propagation strategy based on manually curated subsystems and subsystem-based protein families that
automatically guarantees a high degree of assignment consistency. RAST returns an analysis of the genes and
subsystems in your genome, as supported by comparative and other forms of evidence.
Because NMPDR and the SEED provide access to all essentially complete, public genomes without a user account,
the use of RAST without an account makes no sense—you must have a free account in order for access to your data
to be kept under your control. The tools available in RAST for comparing your new private data to public genomes
are mostly the same as those available for analyzing public genomes at NMPDR (
The tour of the site will follow the workflow listed below. For short answers to specific questions, see the RAST

Upload and manage your job
Sequence format and upload steps
Log in and select "Upload New Job" from the "Your Jobs" menu.

Step 1: Browse for the sequence file which must be a plain text file in either FASTA format or GenBank
format only.

Multiple contigs or replicons of the same genome should all be together in one file.


Files encoded as html, pdf, rtf, doc, docx, embl, gff3, or gtf will be rejected. Sequences in the
correct FASTA or Genbank format must NOT be in a Microsoft Word document--save as a plain
text (*.txt) file, text encoding Windows (default); do NOT insert line breaks or allow character


Click the button to "Upload and go to step 2."

Step 2: Provide the name of the organism and choose a translation table.

If you know or find the taxonomy ID from NCBI, paste it into the text box. Then, when you
select either Bacteria or Archaea with the radio button, the corresponding genus, species, and
strain will autofill accurately. If you do not know or cannot find an ID in the NCBI Taxonomy
database, then fill in the genus (one word), species (one word), and strain (any number of

Since there are no gene calls in a FASTA file. this choice would be unavailable. • Access completed job: From the details page. you may elect to preserve gene calls. select "Jobs Overview. but mycoplasmas and spiroplasmas use version 4. o Most bacteria use version 11 of the genetic code. . o How to navigate the genome viewer will be discussed below. o An overview of the progress is shown in the table as a series of colored boxes. Select the link to view details of one job." If you have logged out." Manage your job From the "Your Jobs" menu. RAST will provide a dummy ID number corresponding to nothing in the taxonomy database. o Select whether the translated proteins should reflect corrected frame shifts if you have low-quality sequence data. • Step 3: Provide information about the sequence data and select settings. you will be directed to your jobs overview upon logging back in.words). o Click the button to "Finish Upload. • Track progress: All of your jobs are displayed in a table with active headers. Your annotation job could be complete in as few as 8 hours. o Look at the information in the "Upload summary" tab to confirm that the system detected the sequence data you intended to upload. you may view or download the annotated genome. o If you uploaded a GenBank file.

request a new group by emailing rast @ mcs.g. . the number of genes that are assigned to complete subsystems. and EMBL. Share your annotated genome with one or more other users. if needed. with and without EC numbers. o You can share this job with others by clicking the link and adding the email addresses (one at a time) of registered users to whom you would like to grant access to your otherwise private data. GFF3." An intermediate screen will appear to confirm whether you are sure you want to delete. a class. The only action to choose from this menu is "Delete this job. which is accessed by clicking on the pair of people at the far right of the green menu bar . how many genes.o • Download formats include GenBank. Click the button to do so.anl. Group memberships may be viewed from the account management page. click on "view details" and then "Browse annotated genome in SEED Viewer" • The overview page opens with a table that lists how many contigs. View your annotated genome results Organism Overview page • From the jobs table. and the subsystem categories represented in your genome. Then. e. This is also where you can change your • Delete job: First you must click on the "view details" link in the jobs table. o If you would like to share with many people. the green menu bar in the header of the page will provide an option labeled with your job number.

under Organism.• The green "Features in Subsystems" tab displays all genes and other features that are automatically included in subsystems because one similar sequence was found for all roles in a functional variant of the subsystem. select the option to collapse close genomes. • Sets of homologous proteins located in the genomic region are presented in the same color with a numerical label. • All information in the graphic is presented in a table in the next tab. click the advanced button. then click the button to redraw the graphic. type in a larger number of genomes (20). The table is resortable and downloadable. . the feature table will display all annotated features in your genome— both those in and not in complete subsystems. • In the menu bar. Click on any feature ID to open the Annotation Overview page for a selected feature. • To expand the graphic comparison to more genomes. Annotation Overview pages for individual features • Compare Regions displays the new genome at the top in comparison with 4 other closely related genomes. or leave at similarity for isolated genes. select PCH pin for clustered genes.

Click the "Show" button in the Region column to focus the browser graphic on the selected feature. You may choose a larger window. along with the number or proteins assigned to each. . under Organism -> Genome Browser. Clicking a feature arrow in the graphic will center the graphic on that protein and color the focus protein red. Click on the details button in the focus tab to open the Annotation Overview page for the protein of focus. • From the Carbohydrates category either in the chart or table. • Expand the categories to see subcategories and subsystem names. you can select the "Carbohydrates" category from the column header. • The table beneath the graphic allows you to scan or search for a feature of interest.Walk the chromosome or contigs of your new genome • Browse genome Access to the genome browser is available from the menu bar. click to open the Glycolysis and Gluconeogenesis subsystem. • The table (click the green "Features in Subsystems" tab) provides similar access. • Click on any feature ID in the table to open its Annotation Overview page. • The genome browser provides a visual tour of the annotated features. Click navigation arrows to move forward or back along the genome. Metabolic reconstruction of your new genome--automated subsystems assignments • The genome overview page displays a pie chart of complete subsystems identified in the genome. and you may color the features by subsystem or clustering. Mouse over any feature to pop up its identity. and in the hint box at the top of the Organism Overview page.

genomes in rows.• In the subsystem spreadsheet. which will open in a new window or tab. the new genome is highlighted and displayed in the context of closely related public genomes. Within one row. genes that are clustered on the genome are shown in the same color. and genes annotated to those roles in the respective cells. The spreadsheet is arranged with functional roles in columns. • Click on any of the genes in the newly annotated genome to open its Annotation Overview page. .

the best selection may be a known. • Step 3: Click button to compute. . If your private sequence is in many contigs. then select "Sequencebased comparison" from the Comparative Tools menu.How does your genome sequence compare with others? Run the sequence-based comparison tool From the page showing the subsystem. • Step 2: Select up to three comparison genomes. high-quality genome. go back on your browser to return to the overview. • Step 1: Select a reference genome.

• Comparison proteins are listed with their contig number. Protein sequence similarities are computed on demand. and length. but logarithmic. zooepidemicus MGCS10565 genome in order to compare the preserved. the GenBank and FASTA versions of the same Streptococcus equi subsp. which allows you to select from all your annotation jobs. • Results are presented in a color-coded table and in a circular map. If your private genomes are in multiple contigs. and that follows the order of the visible spectrum. The second two genomes are nephritogenic strains of Streptococcus pyogenes from the list of public genomes. in order of the contigs/genes in the reference genome. • The amino acid identity of the comparison genomes relative to the reference is color-coded on a scale that is not linear. these results will help order your contigs. and you use a closed. • The example illustrated below uses two private jobs. public genome as the reference. • Results are computed on demand in real time using BLASTP to compare every protein in the reference genome to every protein in the comparison genomes. published gene calls to the RAST-computed gene calls.Result • This tool allows you to select from all your private genomes as well as all public genomes. gene number. The gene numbers are linked to pop-up boxes that list the annotation (name) as well as the proportion of identical amino acids. Notice that the most similar sequences are ribosomal proteins. .

• The table is sortable. or in B but not A. select "Function-based comparison. this comparison of which functions are annotated in B but not automatically associated with subsystems in A . but not B. and downloadable.How does your genome content compare with others in the database? Run the function-based comparison tool From the Comparative Tools menu of the organism summary page. searchable by subsystem category or name. • The first column may be reset to show features associated with subsystems in genome A. • Step 2: Highlight one comparison genome in the list. • Step 3: Click the "Select" button Result • The table opens with all features in your genome (A) or the comparison genome (B) that are associated with a complete subsystem." • Step 1: Your newly annotated genome is already input as the reference. When genome B is very closely related to the new genome. A. in both A and B.

RAST calculates similarities between all features in the input genome (private genome) and all features the SEED database (public genomes). . • Click the button to check requirements for computation. In order for two or more of your jobs to be displayed in compare regions or other comparative tools. It is important to keep in mind that automated subsystem assignments are made only if all roles required for one functional variant of a subsystem have been correctly annotated. • You will recieve an email when the computation is complete. the protein in your new genome will not be included in the subsystem. Therefore. the similarities between two or more private genomes are calculated only upon request. while inclusion in subsystems is based on the annotation matching that of a functional role of a subsystem. How to include two or more jobs (private organisms) in comparative analyses Set private organism preferences For each individual job. then click the button to request computation. In order to maintain privacy of the data in each job. • Select "Private Organism Preferences" from the Your Jobs menu • Shift the genomes you want to compare with each other into the peers box at right by selecting them (one at a time) and clicking the right-pointing arrow. Such an event may occur when the protein with the best sequence match in the database has not yet been reviewed and anotated by the curator of the subsystem in question.indicates a place to begin looking at the annotations to evaluate accuracy or find missing functions. • Select those comparisons that require calculation. Annotations are assigned based on sequence similarity. if the best sequence match to your new protein has a functional annotation that does not match exactly to the name of a role in a subsystem. the similarities of features in the private genomes to each other must be calculated.