SNP calling pipeline

Status: Alpha Authors: Freerk van Dijk, Laurent Francioli, Morris Swertz

This is the documentation of the BBMRI-NL snp calling pipeline based on the Broad GATK. It consists of the following three workflows:

To install and test this pipeline, you could follow this instruction: SNPPipelineTestManual

To see the pipeline commands, see PipelineCommands

Schematic Overview

This simplified overview this schema hides intermediate sort and indexing steps and only shows data inputs/outputs first time they occur.

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  • How long takes alignment per genome?
    • If this takes very long we can split read files
  • How long takes realign knownsonly (per genome)?
    • If very long, we need to rewrite workflow 2 to split before realign
  • For realign: if we split per chromosome, can we also split bam file?
  • How to easily lift over from b36 to b37
    • Contact BGI if they can use b37??



  • Recode workflow 2 to work per genome instead of per chromosome and test - Freerk (done) -> workflow3 still needs to be done
  • Run on pilot data (6) to evaluate timing and concurrency issues (can 6 run on one node?) - Freerk (in progress)
  • Complete analysis of data (60) until including merge to sample.aligned.bam - Freerk
  • QC pipeline - Can we get Jeroen and Yurii involved here
    • UnifiedGenotyper? without realign - Freerk
    • GATK variant eval to make venn diagrams
    • Contact Yurii for this; Let Jeroen take charge? (done) -> Jeroen doing QC stuff
  • Share data with Grid following plan Silvia - Freerk
  • Contact BGI for sample list - Morris (done)
  • Put report on FTP - Ger,Freerk


  • Short tutorial howto generate pipeline scripts - Morris
    • Teach Barbara and Jeroen
  • Port pipeline to Grid with help of Barbara
    • What do we need to generate exactly - Barbara



Step Cores Memory (gb) Time (
BWA alignment 1 ± 6 10.05
BWA spe 1 3.35
Sam-Bam 1 12.3
Sam sort 1 5.05
Mark Duplicates 1 4 1.55
Realignment (knowns only) 1 8 (*can be lowered) 5.2
Fix mates 1 6 (*) 3.05
Covariates bef. 1 2 12.35
Recalibrate 1 4 7.3
Sam sort 1 4.5
Covariates aft. 1 2 11.2
Analyze Covar. 1 4 < 00.01


  • Option 1, If it is possible to let a node guarantee certain amount of disk space (/tmp), we should use the entire cluster. Before start running a pipeline, we can just ask the node to reserve that amount of disk space.
  • Option 2, If we can cut a dedicate part of the cluster, we can use our own scheduler to share the nodes/disks. E.g, depending on the disk space usage pattern and how we can remove the data, we can decide which jobs run at which node and when.

Memory/CPU time

  • Can multiple samples use the same reference genome in memory during the BWA alignment. I.e. 1 sample->6GB, 3 samples->6GB.
    • NO?
  • Can we parallelize the Markduplicate?
    • YES!
    • MarkDuplicates finds sequence pairs that map to the same position, marking or removing the duplicates so you can work with unique pairs in downstream analyses. If you want them removed, use the REMOVE_DUPLICATES=true flag when running the program.
  • Can we parallelize covariate before/after, recalibration?
    • Don't know

List of steps

Quality Control

The current important values discussed for the quality control along with their thresholds are the following:

  • RawData?
    • FastQC report (per mate of the pair)
      • Manual look at files and check:
        • Avg Quality per read > 30
        • Num sequences ~60Mio
        • Sequence quality should look OK
  • Alignment (per lane)
    • Picard Alignment Summary Metrics
      • %Purified reads aligned > 90%
      • Purified High Quality Error Rate < 1%
      • Purified reads aligned > 150Mio
    • Picard GC Bias Metrics
      • GC Curve should look OK
      • Median GC% windows between 30 and 40
      • Avg Mean Base Quality should be OK
    • Picard Insertsize Metrics
      • Peak should be ~500
      • Peak should be narrow
      • Should have few outliers
    • Picard BAM Index Stats
      • Should be uniform by Chromosome
    • GATK or Picard (currently testing) Coverage Metrics
      • Should correspond to a Poisson curve with peak at 12x
    • Picard Mark Duplicates
      • %duplicates between 5% and 8%
  • Recalibration
    • GATK Analyze Covariate
      • No output currently; should revisit when working
    • Picard Quality by Cycle
      • To be determined once data is produced
    • Picard Quality Distribution
      • To be determined once data is produced
  • Initial SNP Calling
    • To be determined once data is produced and analyzed. A first basis for it should be derived from the difference between chipdata and sequence data and the %of SNPs found in dbSNP.
Last modified 13 years ago Last modified on Jan 29, 2011 8:18:34 AM

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