I'm taking a genomics course at school, and we have a final project due in a few weeks. Now, I can write bash scripts to sort and analyze the data, etc. However, I'm not quite sure how to actually get the data from the database. I was hoping to get some help there.

I'd like to get the assemblies of genomes for the species in the Borrelia genus. Is there any way that I can do this using commands like "wget", for example. I'm not even sure what URL I'd have to give the computer to go fetch these. Then once I give it the correct URL, how should I tell it what file in that directory to download?

I'd greatly appreciate some help on this issue.

  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried Google on something like Borrelia genome? I've never done it before but it took me less than 10 minutes to find the genome for a borrelia species from that point. $\endgroup$
    – mgkrebbs
    Nov 7, 2018 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @mgkrebbs - I'm sorry, but I forgot to mention in my post, that I need the genomes for many species of Borrelia. I wanted to know that, instead of doing it manually, is there some way I could get the computer to download the assemblies for all the Borrelia species in Genbank? $\endgroup$
    – The_Questioner
    Nov 7, 2018 at 21:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Entrez is what you want for this, most likely. There are R/python packages that can also access it pretty easily (biomaRt/biopython, respectively). $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2018 at 23:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you need the assembly information and metadata? or do you need the genomes sequences themselves? $\endgroup$
    – MikeKatz45
    Nov 13, 2018 at 16:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @mgkrebbs Getting data off of NCBI is infuriatingly difficult and non-obvious, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Finding the data is one thing (already not quite as easy as you make it sound). And then …?! $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2018 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


For downloading data from commandline use the E-utilities of NCBI.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you edit your answer to provide an example query to download all of the Borrelia genomes from NCBI using the tool that you linked? $\endgroup$
    – conchoecia
    Dec 10, 2018 at 17:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @conchoecia I answered this in Biology and therefore did not go into details. I'll provide an example as soon as I can. $\endgroup$
    Dec 10, 2018 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG could you provide a link to your answer in Biology? $\endgroup$ Feb 23, 2022 at 16:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.