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Velvet is a sequence assembler for very short reads.


Free to use and open source under GNU GPLv2.


  • Puhti: 1.2.10
  • Chipster graphical user interface


In Puhti the Velvet commands are initialized with command:

module load biokit
velveth (and the corresponding colorspace version velveth_de) helps you construct the dataset for the following program, velvetg. Velveth takes in a number of sequence files, produces a hashtable, then outputs two files in an output directory, Sequences and Roadmaps, which are necessary to velvetg. The syntax is as follows:

velveth output_directory hash_length  [[-file_format][-read_type] filename]
For example
velveth assembly_dir 21 -shortPaired data/reads.fa

Velvetg (and the corresponding colorspace version velvetg_de) is the core of Velvet where the de Bruijn graph is built and then manipulated. The syntax of velvetg is

velvetg output_directory -options parameters
A velvetg command could look like:
velvetg assebly_dir -cov_cutoff 5 -read_trkg yes -amos_file yes

When velvet was compiled in puhti, the maximum allowed kmer length was defined. The longer the maximum kmer is the more memory velvet will need (regardless of the kmer length that is actually used). Because of that we provide several versions of velvet, listed in the table below. In Puhti the default the maximum k-mer length, that can be used in the hash table, is 100 bases. However, it is recommended to use the version that has the shortest possible max kmer length. For example for kmer length 40 you should use velveth_maxk50 and velvetg_maxk50.

Velvet programs available in Puhti

Program max. k-mer length type
velveth 100 normal
velvetg 100 normal
velveth_maxk75 75 normal
velvetg_maxk75 75 normal
velveth_maxk50 50 normal
velvetg_maxk50 50 normal
velveth_maxk35 35 normal
velvetg_maxk35 35 normal
velveth_de 100 colorspace
velvetg_de 100 colorspace
velveth_de_maxk75 75 colorspace
velvetg_de_maxk75 75 colorspace
velveth_de_maxk50 50 colorspace
velvetg_de_maxk50 50 colorspace
velveth_de_maxk35 35 colorspace
velvetg_de_maxk35 35 colorspace

In Puhti, the velvet jobs should be executed through the batch job system. Below is sample batch job file for velvet.

#SBATCH --job-name=velvet
#SBATCH --output=put=output_velvet2.txt
#SBATCH --error=errors_velvet2.txt
#SBATCH --account=<project>
#SBATCH --time=4-00:00:00
#SBATCH --ntasks=1
#SBATCH --partition=longrun
#SBATCH --nodes=1
#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=4
#SBATCH --mem=64G

module load biokit

velveth_maxk50 assembly_folder 45 -shortPaired -fastq temp.fastq
velvetg_maxk50 assembly_folder -ins_length 400

In the batch job file above, the job reserves 4 computing cores (--cpus-per-task=4) and 64 GB of memory for four days (-t 4-00:00:00). Velvet can utilize threads based parallel computing. After a set up command module load biokit the number of cores to be used in the Velvet run is defined with environment variables: OMP_NUM_THREADS and OMP_THREAD_LIMIT. In this script these variables are set by using the the environment variable SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK, that contains the value defined with the --cpus-per-task,( which in this example has value: 4).

The batch job can be launched with command

sbatch script_file_name

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


More information about Velvet can be found from:

Last update: October 10, 2022