Basic summary stats for all genomes at NCBI

I’m wrapping up a manuscript this week (woo hoo!), and at one point was looking for a reference for the claim that a genome-wide GC content of ≈30% is one of the lowest observed in any animal genome. I looked at a couple of recently published animal genomes, and couldn’t even find a mention of the genome’s overall nucleotide composition. I know all of the data is accessible from NCBI, but there are hundreds of published animal genomes, and I was not keen on downloading all those genome sequences and computing GC content. Plus, I mean come on, NCBI should have this type of information easily accessible somewhere, right?

It turns out my intuition was correct. There is a “Browse by organism” link on NCBI’s genomes page that brings up a tabular readout of basic summary stats for all genome assemblies submitted to NCBI. Finding the information I needed was as simple as clicking the “Eukaryotes” tab, filtering by group (“Animals”), and sorting by %GC content (they also provide info on genome size and content as well). After skipping the references with missing values for %GC content, I was able to confirm the claim, so I referenced this resource in the paper.


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