Journal article Open Access

Yanagi: Fast and interpretable segment-based alternative splicing and gene expression analysis

Gunady, Mohamed

This is the supporting data and analysis scripts used for experiments in Yanagi paper.

Background: Ultra-fast pseudo-alignment approaches are the tool of choice in transcript-level RNA-seq analyses. Unfortunately, these methods couple the tasks of pseudo-alignment and transcript quantification. This coupling precludes the direct usage of pseudo-alignment to other expression analyses, including alternative splicing or differential gene expression analysis, without including a non-essential transcript quantification step.

Results: In this paper, we introduce a transcriptome segmentation approach to decouple these two tasks. We propose an efficient algorithm to generate maximal disjoint segments given a transcriptome reference library on which ultra-fast pseudo-alignment can be used to produce per-sample segment counts. We show how to apply these maximally unambiguous count statistics in two specific expression analyses -- alternative splicing and gene differential expression -- without the need of a transcript quantification step. Our experiments based on simulated and experimental data showed that the use of segment counts, like other methods that rely on local coverage statistics, provides an advantage over approaches that rely on transcript quantification in detecting and correctly estimating local splicing in the case of incomplete transcript annotations.  

Conclusions: The transcriptome segmentation approach implemented in Yanagi exploits the computational and space efficiency of pseudo-alignment approaches. It significantly expands their applicability and interpretability in a variety of RNA-seq analyses by providing the means to model and capture local coverage variation in these analyses.

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