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. 2017 Feb;14(2):135-139.
doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4106. Epub 2016 Dec 12.

Simulation-based Comprehensive Benchmarking of RNA-seq Aligners

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Free PMC article

Simulation-based Comprehensive Benchmarking of RNA-seq Aligners

Giacomo Baruzzo et al. Nat Methods. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Alignment is the first step in most RNA-seq analysis pipelines, and the accuracy of downstream analyses depends heavily on it. Unlike most steps in the pipeline, alignment is particularly amenable to benchmarking with simulated data. We performed a comprehensive benchmarking of 14 common splice-aware aligners for base, read, and exon junction-level accuracy and compared default with optimized parameters. We found that performance varied by genome complexity, and accuracy and popularity were poorly correlated. The most widely cited tool underperforms for most metrics, particularly when using default settings.

Conflict of interest statement

COMPETING FINANCIAL INTERESTS

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Base-level precision and recall for human and malaria data sets.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Junction-level precision and recall for human and malaria data sets.
Figure 3
Figure 3
The effect of tuning parameters on the human-T3-data base-level statistics. For each tool, the figure shows the alignment statistics for the ‘default’ (d) and the ‘tuned’ (t) alignments.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Runtime performance on human and malaria data. Bars show average runtime in minutes from three replicates. Error bars, s.d. Note that Novoalign has no multithreading in its free-license versions. To obtain comparable results, we divided the Novoalign runtime by the number of threads used (16). However, the real scalability could be different from the ideal one used here, resulting in a longer execution time.

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