MLG: multilayer graph clustering for multi-condition scRNA-seq data

Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Dec 16;49(22):e127. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab823.


Single-cell transcriptome sequencing (scRNA-seq) enabled investigations of cellular heterogeneity at exceedingly higher resolutions. Identification of novel cell types or transient developmental stages across multiple experimental conditions is one of its key applications. Linear and non-linear dimensionality reduction for data integration became a foundational tool in inference from scRNA-seq data. We present multilayer graph clustering (MLG) as an integrative approach for combining multiple dimensionality reduction of multi-condition scRNA-seq data. MLG generates a multilayer shared nearest neighbor cell graph with higher signal-to-noise ratio and outperforms current best practices in terms of clustering accuracy across large-scale benchmarking experiments. Application of MLG to a wide variety of datasets from multiple conditions highlights how MLG boosts signal-to-noise ratio for fine-grained sub-population identification. MLG is widely applicable to settings with single cell data integration via dimension reduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • RNA-Seq / methods*
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*