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From the Velvet web site:

Sequence assembler for very short reads.

Velvet is a de novo genomic assembler specially designed for short read sequencing technologies, such as Solexa or 454, developed by Daniel Zerbino and Ewan Birney at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), near Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.

Velvet currently takes in short read sequences, removes errors then produces high quality unique contigs. It then uses paired-end read and long read information, when available, to retrieve the repeated areas between contigs.


Default compilation options (max kmer=31, single threaded)
Default kmer, but using OpenMP (see notes below for details)
Max kmer of 99 and OpenMP (See notes below for details)


  1. The user manual is available here.
  2. All versions were compiled with the Intel Compiler Suite.
  3. If you use one of the OpenMP versions of velvet, you must set the enviroment variables OMP_NUM_THREADS and OMP_THREAD_LIMIT to the appropriate value based on the processor request in your submission script. For example if you use #PBS -l nodes=1:ppn=8 in your script, also include export OMP_NUM_THREADS=7; export OMP_THREAD_LIMIT=8 (for a bash script) in the script itself (see sample script below and/or the user manual for more information).
  4. Please file a bugzilla request for additional compile options like color space, different kmers, LONGSEQUENCES, etc.

Sample Submission Script

#PBS -N velvet
#PBS -o velvet.out
#PBS -e velvet.err
#PBS -M <your e-mail addres>
#PBS -m abe
#PBS -l walltime=12:00:00     
#PBS -l pmem=4gb            
#PBS -l nodes=1:ppn=8 

# Walltime is in the format HH:MM:SS
# In the above PBS directives, pmem represents the per thread memory request so
# with ppn=8 and pmem=4gb you are requesting a total of 8x4 = 32GB of RAM.
#Set OMP_THREAD_LIMIT--should be the same as ppn above
#Set OMP_NUM_THREADS--should be 1 lower than ppn 
/apps/velvet/1.1.05/velveth_max99_OMP velvet_out/ 45 -fastq.gz -shortPaired my_paired_data.fastq.gz
/apps/velvet/1.1.05/velvetg_max99_OMP velvet_out/ -min_contig_lgth 250 -exp_cov 10 -ins_length 350