Biowulf High Performance Computing at the NIH
humann on Biowulf

From the humann home page:

HUMAnN is a pipeline for efficiently and accurately profiling the presence/absence and abundance of microbial pathways in a community from metagenomic or metatranscriptomic sequencing data (typically millions of short DNA/RNA reads). This process, referred to as functional profiling, aims to describe the metabolic potential of a microbial community and its members. More generally, functional profiling answers the question "What are the microbes in my community-of-interest doing (or capable of doing)?"
Important Notes

Interactive job
Interactive jobs should be used for debugging, graphics, or applications that cannot be run as batch jobs.

Allocate an interactive session and run the program. Sample session:

[user@biowulf]$ sinteractive -c12 --mem=16g --gres=lscratch:100
salloc.exe: Pending job allocation 46116226
salloc.exe: job 46116226 queued and waiting for resources
salloc.exe: job 46116226 has been allocated resources
salloc.exe: Granted job allocation 46116226
salloc.exe: Waiting for resource configuration
salloc.exe: Nodes cn3144 are ready for job

[user@cn3144 ~]$ module load humann/3.0.0
[user@cn3144 ~]$ cd /lscratch/$SLURM_JOB_ID
[user@cn3144 ~]$ cp -r ${HUMANN_TEST_DATA:-none} demo
[user@cn3144 ~]$ humann --threads $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK --input demo/demo.fastq --output demo.out
[user@cn3144 ~]$ # note that for the humann series 2 the command is `humann2`
WARNING: While bind mounting '/gs10:/gs10': destination is already in the mount point list
Creating output directory: /lscratch/46116226/demo.out
Output files will be written to: /lscratch/46116226/demo.out

Running metaphlan ........

Found g__Bacteroides.s__Bacteroides_dorei : 57.96% of mapped reads
Found g__Bacteroides.s__Bacteroides_vulgatus : 42.04% of mapped reads

Total species selected from prescreen: 2

Selected species explain 100.00% of predicted community composition

Creating custom ChocoPhlAn database ........

Running bowtie2-build ........

Running bowtie2 ........

Total bugs from nucleotide alignment: 2
g__Bacteroides.s__Bacteroides_vulgatus: 1274 hits
g__Bacteroides.s__Bacteroides_dorei: 1318 hits

Total gene families from nucleotide alignment: 548

Unaligned reads after nucleotide alignment: 87.6571428571 %

Running diamond ........

Aligning to reference database: uniref90_201901b_full.dmnd

Total bugs after translated alignment: 3
g__Bacteroides.s__Bacteroides_vulgatus: 1274 hits
g__Bacteroides.s__Bacteroides_dorei: 1318 hits
unclassified: 1599 hits

Total gene families after translated alignment: 815

Unaligned reads after translated alignment: 80.6190476190 %

Computing gene families ...

Computing pathways abundance and coverage ...

Output files created:

[user@cn3144 ~]$ ls -lh demo.out
total 168K
-rw-r--r-- 1 user group 104K Dec 11 12:25 demo_genefamilies.tsv
drwxr-xr-x 2 user group 4.0K Dec 11 12:25 demo_humann_temp
-rw-r--r-- 1 user group 1.4K Dec 11 12:25 demo_pathabundance.tsv
-rw-r--r-- 1 user group 1.3K Dec 11 12:25 demo_pathcoverage.tsv
[user@cn3144 ~]$ exit
salloc.exe: Relinquishing job allocation 46116226
[user@biowulf ~]$

Batch job
Most jobs should be run as batch jobs.

Create a batch input file (e.g., which uses the input file ''. For example:

#! /bin/bash

module load humann/3.0.0 || exit 1
cd /lscratch/$SLURM_JOB_ID || exit 1
cp $HUMANN_TEST_DATA/demo.fastq .
mkdir out

# for humann version 2 modules, this command would be humann2
humann --threads $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK \
  --input demo.fastq \
  --output out

Submit this job using the Slurm sbatch command.

sbatch [--cpus-per-task=#] [--mem=#]
Swarm of Jobs
A swarm of jobs is an easy way to submit a set of independent commands requiring identical resources.

Create a swarmfile (e.g. humann.swarm). For example:

humann --input bample1.bam --output sample1.out
humann --input bample2.bam --output sample2.out
humann --input bample3.bam --output sample3.out

Submit this job using the swarm command.

swarm -f humann.swarm -g 10 -t 4 --module humann/3.0.0
-g # Number of Gigabytes of memory required for each process (1 line in the swarm command file)
-t # Number of threads/CPUs required for each process (1 line in the swarm command file).
--module humann/XXXX Loads the humann module for each subjob in the swarm