Table of Contents



SPAdes is a short read assebler for small genomes. SPAdes works with Illumina or IonTorrent reads and is capable of providing hybrid assemblies using PacBio, Oxford Nanopore and Sanger reads.

SPAdes ( includes several separate modules:

  • BayesHammer – read error correction tool for Illumina reads, which works well on both single-cell and standard data sets.
  • IonHammer – read error correction tool for IonTorrent data, which also works on both types of data.
  • SPAdes – iterative short-read genome assembly module; values of K are selected automatically based on the read length and data set type.
  • MismatchCorrector – a tool which improves mismatch and short indel rates in resulting contigs and scaffolds; this module uses the BWA tool [Li H. and Durbin R., 2009]; MismatchCorrector is turned off by default, but we recommend to turn it on (see SPAdes options section).

We recommend to run SPAdes with BayesHammer/IonHammer to obtain high-quality assemblies. However, if you use your own read correction tool, it is possible to turn error correction module off. It is also possible to use only the read error correction stage, if you wish to use another assembler. See the SPAdes options section.

In addition to the general purpose spades there spcific Spadesw parameter sets for:


Version on CSC's Servers

  • Puhti: 3.14.1


In Puhti, SPAdes is activated by loading the biokit environment.

module load biokit

For usage help use command: -h

Assembly tasks can be very resource demanding. Because of that you should not run real SPAdes jobs in the login nodes of Puhti. For any real analysis task we recommend running SPAdes as a batch job.

Sample SPAdes batch job file:

#SBATCH --job-name=SPAdes
#SBATCH --account=<project>
#SBATCH --time=12:00:00
#SBATCH --ntasks=1
#SBATCH --nodes=1
#SBATCH --output==spades_out
#SBATCH --error=sprdes_err
#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=8
#SBATCH --mem-per-cpu=2G
#SBATCH --partition=small

module load biokit
srun --pe1-1 reads_R1.fastq.gz --pe1-2 reads_R2.fastq.gz -t $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK -o SpadesResult

In the example above could be replaced with your project name. You can use csc-workspaces to check your Puhti projects. Maximum running time is set to 12 hours (--time=12:00:00). As SPAdes uses threads based parallelization, the process is considered as one job that should be executed within one node (--ntasks=1, --nodes=1). The job reserves eight cores --cpus-per-task=8 that can use in total up to 32 GB of memory (--mem=32G). Note that the number of cores to be used needs to be defined in actual command too. That is done with option -t. In this case we use $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK variable that contains the cpus-pre-task value. We could as well use -t 8 but then we have to remember to change the value if number of the reserved CPU:s is changed.

The job is submitted to the to the batch job system with sbatch command. For example, if the batch job file is named as then the submission command is:


More information about running batch jobs can be found from the batch job section of the Puhti user guide.