The first week of November was busy for some members of the ERGA Annotation Committee. They participated in the Elixir BioHackathon Europe 2023. This year, the event took place in Barcelona and brought together 180 scientists from all over the world to work on 35 different bioinformatics projects.
The project, led by Annotation committee members Jèssica Gómez-Garrido and Alice Dennis, focused on Genome annotation and other post-assembly workflows for the tree of life. Annotations are an essential component of reference-genomes, as they transform genomes into larger sources of knowledge and link the sequences with their functions, facilitating comparisons within and across taxa.
Together, the team managed over 50 annotation runs, focusing on 7 different species and a dozen different annotation tools and pipelines. The main goals of the Hackathon were to:
(1) test software in a number of infrastructures to ensure they are reproducible,
(2) test tools in as wide a range of taxa as possible,
(3) perform annotation on the same organism, but with varying amounts of input information to determine in which organisms and under which conditions annotation tools perform better or worse, and
(4) bring together developers and users for direct interaction and to assist in software implementation.
The Elixir BioHackathon presented a fantastic opportunity for researchers from the genome annotation community to come together and work on this project. We thank Alice and Jèssica for their work in organising the project and Elixir for their support.