Background: One aspect in which RNA sequencing is more valuable than microarray-based methods is the ability to examine the allelic imbalance of the expression of a gene. This process is often a complex task that entails quality control, alignment, and the counting of reads over heterozygous single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Allelic imbalance analysis is subject to technical biases, due to differences in the sequences of the measured alleles. Flexible bioinformatics tools are needed to ease the workflow while retaining as much RNA sequencing information as possible throughout the analysis to detect and address the possible biases.
Results: We present AllelicImblance, a software program that is designed to detect, manage, and visualize allelic imbalances comprehensively. The purpose of this software is to allow users to pose genetic questions in any RNA sequencing experiment quickly, enhancing the general utility of RNA sequencing. The visualization features can reveal notable, non-trivial allelic imbalance behavior over specific regions, such as exons.
Conclusions: The software provides a complete framework to perform allelic imbalance analyses of aligned RNA sequencing data, from detection to visualization, within the robust and versatile management class, ASEset.