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orthomcl website  

OrthoMCL is a genome-scale algorithm for grouping orthologous protein sequences. It provides not only groups shared by two or more species/genomes, but also groups representing species-specific gene expansion families. So it serves as an important utility for automated eukaryotic genome annotation. OrthoMCL starts with reciprocal best hits within each genome as potential in-paralog/recent paralog pairs and reciprocal best hits across any two genomes as potential ortholog pairs. Related proteins are interlinked in a similarity graph. Then MCL (Markov Clustering algorithm,Van Dongen 2000; www.micans.org/mcl) is invoked to split mega-clusters. This process is analogous to the manual review in COG construction. MCL clustering is based on weights between each pair of proteins, so to correct for differences in evolutionary distance the weights are normalized before running MCL.

Required Modules

modules documentation


  • orthomcl

System Variables

  • HPC_ORTHOMCL_DIR - installation directory
  • HPC_ORTHOMCL_BIN - executable directory
  • HPC_ORTHOMCL_CONF - configuration directory. It contains the orthomcl.config file that provides the MySQL connection settings, credentials, and the database structure.

How To Run

The '$HPC_ORTHOMCL_CONF/orthomcl.config' file provides a template for configuring an OrthoMCL database. Copy it to your working directory with

$ cp $HPC_ORTHOMCL_CONF/orthomcl.config .

and change the database name from 'orthomcl_jdoe_myproject:' to your own database that has a name with a pattern 'orthomcl_$USER_project_name' in the string 'dbConnectString=dbi:mysql:orthomcl_jdoe_myproject::orthomcldb.ufhpc'. MySQL server will allow the orthomcl user to create databases with that name pattern.

We also provide orthomcl database management scripts for your convenience. They include

  • hpc_list_orthomcl_databases
  • hpc_create_orthomcl_database
  • hpc_remove_orthomcl_database

Please triple-check the name of the database you are removing to make sure you only remove one of your databases, which you absolutely do not need anymore.

Don't forget to create the schema with

orthomclInstallSchema orthomcl.config

after creating a database.

OrthoMCL documentation is available from several sources.

  • A User Guide and other documents in text format are located in /apps/orthomcl/VERSION/doc/OrthoMCLEngine/Main/ and at [1].


If you publish research that uses orthomcl you have to cite it as follows:

  1. Feng Chen, Aaron J. Mackey, Christian J. Stoeckert, Jr., and David S. Roos. OrthoMCL-DB: querying a comprehensive multi-species collection of ortholog groups. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 34: D363-8. Please cite this paper if you publish research results benefited from OrthoMCL-DB.
  2. Li Li, Christian J. Stoeckert, Jr., and David S. Roos. OrthoMCL: Identification of Ortholog Groups for Eukaryotic Genomes. Genome Res. 2003 13: 2178-2189.
  3. Feng Chen, Aaron J. Mackey, Jeroen K. Vermunt, and David S. Roos. Assessing Performance of Orthology Detection Strategies Applied to Eukaryotic Genomes. PLoS ONE 2007 2(4): e383.


  • Validate 4/5/2018