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

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

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

• 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. Annotation Overview pages for individual features • Compare Regions displays the new genome at the top in comparison with 4 other closely related genomes. under Organism. type in a larger number of genomes (20). the feature table will display all annotated features in your genome— both those in and not in complete subsystems. • To expand the graphic comparison to more genomes. • In the menu bar. select PCH pin for clustered genes. or leave at similarity for isolated genes. click the advanced button. . Click on any feature ID to open the Annotation Overview page for a selected feature. The table is resortable and downloadable. 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. then click the button to redraw the graphic.

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

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

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

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

or in B but not A. select "Function-based comparison. When genome B is very closely related to the new genome. • Step 2: Highlight one comparison genome in the list. and downloadable. searchable by subsystem category or name. this comparison of which functions are annotated in B but not automatically associated with subsystems in A . • 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. • The table is sortable. • The first column may be reset to show features associated with subsystems in genome A. but not B. A.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. in both A and B.

Therefore. the similarities of features in the private genomes to each other must be calculated. • 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. the similarities between two or more private genomes are calculated only upon request.indicates a place to begin looking at the annotations to evaluate accuracy or find missing functions. In order for two or more of your jobs to be displayed in compare regions or other comparative tools. 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. 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. then click the button to request computation. In order to maintain privacy of the data in each job. the protein in your new genome will not be included in the subsystem. • Select those comparisons that require calculation. Annotations are assigned based on sequence similarity. while inclusion in subsystems is based on the annotation matching that of a functional role of a subsystem. RAST calculates similarities between all features in the input genome (private genome) and all features the SEED database (public genomes). . • You will recieve an email when the computation is complete. • Click the button to check requirements for computation. 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. How to include two or more jobs (private organisms) in comparative analyses Set private organism preferences For each individual job.