Could someone explain to me like I'm 5 years old what a read group is? I've read several definitions of it. For example "A read group is the set of reads that were generated from a single run of a sequencing instrument". So in this definition, is the set of reads the same thing as the set of all the base pair sequence segments that are generated after the DNA has been ran through the sequencing machine? Are the "set of reads" the ones that are contained in the fastq file?
I've read other definitions that use the terms "lane", and "flow cell". I've looked up these terms as well but still don't understand what the read group is referring to. I think I've spotted it in some .fastq files. I'm a software developer with no background in bioinformatics that has been playing around with the Picard tools, and for some of the tools, you must pass a read group as an argument. I want to make sure I understand what I'm passing in, and what it does. Thank you.