Launching the new Australian Apollo Service for collaborative genome annotation

Source: Australia BioCommons

Australian BioCommons is thrilled to announce the launch of the Australian Apollo Service in partnership with QCIF and Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre. This new service offers access to the popular tool, Apollo, which facilitates real-time collaborative curation and genome annotation editing, along with a valuable layer of IT support. The Australian Apollo Service allows researchers to focus on the genome annotation curation itself by taking care of all the system administration and hosting customised, local instances of Apollo.

Community roadmaps developed together with the Genome Annotation and Genome Assembly Communities highlighted the local need for access to Apollo. Many researchers who undertake genome annotation work identified Apollo as essential to their research as it allows them to collaboratively improve genome annotations that are the product of automated annotation tools or pipelines. But these researchers faced significant challenges in using this software as the overhead of deploying and managing an Apollo instance themselves was too high.

Recognising this as a priority, Australian BioCommons has brought together partners at QCIF and Pawsey to build and deliver a service that is freely available to Australian-based research groups and research consortia. The complete system administration, build and deployment of the instance is done on behalf of researchers, with support provided through a help desk, user documentation and training events. The deployment of a full technology stack, long term hosting of data, maintenance updates and security are all covered by the Australian Apollo Service, providing customised, local instances of the Apollo software for individual genome projects.

At our launch webinar, you’ll hear what’s possible from Dr Rahul Rane (CSIRO), Prof Sandie Degnan and Prof Bernie Degnan (University of Queensland) and Julia Voelker (Southern Cross University). The demonstration of what Apollo brings to these researchers’ genome annotation and curation workflows will be accompanied by an overview of what the Australian Apollo Service can offer from Dr Tiffanie Nelson (Australian BioCommons).

New users will be supported by a hands-on training workshop Refining genome annotations with Apollo in November led by experts in the Apollo tool and its use to support genome annotation, Dr Anthony Bretaudeau (French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment), Dr Helena Rasche (Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands) and Dr Sarah Williams (QCIF).

If you are interested in genome annotation, editing and curation, or you think that Apollo might be useful for your research, please join us for the webinar: Launching the new Apollo Service: collaborative genome annotation for Australian researchers on Wed 29 Sep 2021 at 12:00 pm AEST.

BioCommons partner QCIF is offering the Apollo Portal service, and it is underpinned by computational resources provided by the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre. These efforts are supported by funding from the Queensland Government’s Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund (RICF), Bioplatforms Australia (BPA) and Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). BPA and ARDC are enabled by NCRIS.