RVTESTS: an efficient and comprehensive tool for rare variant association analysis using sequence data

Bioinformatics. 2016 May 1;32(9):1423-6. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw079. Epub 2016 Feb 15.


Motivation: Next-generation sequencing technologies have enabled the large-scale assessment of the impact of rare and low-frequency genetic variants for complex human diseases. Gene-level association tests are often performed to analyze rare variants, where multiple rare variants in a gene region are analyzed jointly. Applying gene-level association tests to analyze sequence data often requires integrating multiple heterogeneous sources of information (e.g. annotations, functional prediction scores, allele frequencies, genotypes and phenotypes) to determine the optimal analysis unit and prioritize causal variants. Given the complexity and scale of current sequence datasets and bioinformatics databases, there is a compelling need for more efficient software tools to facilitate these analyses. To answer this challenge, we developed RVTESTS, which implements a broad set of rare variant association statistics and supports the analysis of autosomal and X-linked variants for both unrelated and related individuals. RVTESTS also provides useful companion features for annotating sequence variants, integrating bioinformatics databases, performing data quality control and sample selection. We illustrate the advantages of RVTESTS in functionality and efficiency using the 1000 Genomes Project data.

Availability and implementation: RVTESTS is available on Linux, MacOS and Windows. Source code and executable files can be obtained at https://github.com/zhanxw/rvtests

Contact: zhanxw@gmail.com; goncalo@umich.edu; dajiang.liu@outlook.com

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Programming Languages
  • Software*