Motivation: Single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) are the most common variations in the human genome. Recently developed methods for SNV detection from single-cell DNA sequencing data, such as SCIΦ and scVILP, leverage the evolutionary history of the cells to overcome the technical errors associated with single-cell sequencing protocols. Despite being accurate, these methods are not scalable to the extensive genomic breadth of single-cell whole-genome (scWGS) and whole-exome sequencing (scWES) data.
Results: Here, we report on a new scalable method, Phylovar, which extends the phylogeny-guided variant calling approach to sequencing datasets containing millions of loci. Through benchmarking on simulated datasets under different settings, we show that, Phylovar outperforms SCIΦ in terms of running time while being more accurate than Monovar (which is not phylogeny-aware) in terms of SNV detection. Furthermore, we applied Phylovar to two real biological datasets: an scWES triple-negative breast cancer data consisting of 32 cells and 3375 loci as well as an scWGS data of neuron cells from a normal human brain containing 16 cells and approximately 2.5 million loci. For the cancer data, Phylovar detected somatic SNVs with high or moderate functional impact that were also supported by bulk sequencing dataset and for the neuron dataset, Phylovar identified 5745 SNVs with non-synonymous effects some of which were associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
Availability and implementation: Phylovar is implemented in Python and is publicly available at https://github.com/NakhlehLab/Phylovar.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press.