SAM (Sequence Alignment/Map) format is a generic format for storing large nucleotide sequence alignments. SAM aims to be a format that:
- Is flexible enough to store all the alignment information generated by various alignment programs;
- Is simple enough to be easily generated by alignment programs or converted from existing alignment formats;
- Is compact in file size;
- Allows most of operations on the alignment to work on a stream without loading the whole alignment into memory;
- Allows the file to be indexed by genomic position to efficiently retrieve all reads aligning to a locus.
SAM Tools provide various utilities for manipulating alignments in the SAM format, including sorting, merging, indexing and generating alignments in a per-position format.
SAMtools is hosted by SourceForge.net. The project page is here. The source code releases are available from the download page. You can check out the most recent source code from the github project page with:
- Li H.*, Handsaker B.*, Wysoker A., Fennell T., Ruan J., Homer N., Marth G., Abecasis G., Durbin R. and 1000 Genome Project Data Processing Subgroup (2009) The Sequence alignment/map (SAM) format and SAMtools. Bioinformatics, 25, 2078-9. [PMID: 19505943]