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Objective

Install all software packages required to follow the GATK Best Practices.

Prerequisites

To follow these instructions, you will need to have a basic understanding of the meaning of the following words and command-line operations. If you are unfamiliar with any of the following, you should consult a more experienced colleague or your systems administrator if you have one. There are also many good online tutorials you can use to learn the necessary notions.

  • Basic Unix environment commands
  • Binary / Executable
  • Compiling a binary
  • Adding a binary to your path
  • Command-line shell, terminal or console
  • Software library

You will also need to have access to an ANSI compliant C++ compiler and the tools needed for normal compilations (make, shell, the standard library, tar, gunzip). These tools are usually pre-installed on Linux/Unix systems. On MacOS X, you may need to install the MacOS Xcode tools. See https://developer.apple.com/xcode/ for relevant information and software downloads.

Starting with version 2.6, the GATK requires Java Runtime Environment version 1.7. All Linux/Unix and MacOS X systems should have a JRE pre-installed, but the version may vary. To test your Java version, run the following command in the shell:

java -version 

This should return a message along the lines of ”java version 1.7.0_25” as well as some details on the Runtime Environment (JRE) and Virtual Machine (VM). If you have a version other than 1.7.x, be aware that you may run into trouble with some of the more advanced features of the Picard and GATK tools. The simplest solution is to install an additional JRE and specify which you want to use at the command-line. To find out how to do so, you should seek help from your systems administrator.

Software packages

  1. BWA
  2. SAMtools
  3. HTSlib (optional)
  4. Picard
  5. Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK)
  6. IGV
  7. RStudio IDE and R libraries ggplot2 and gsalib

1. BWA

Read the overview of the BWA software on the BWA project homepage, then download the latest version of the software package.

  • Installation

Unpack the tar file using:

tar xvzf bwa-0.7.5a.tar.bz2 

This will produce a directory called bwa-0.7.5a containing the files necessary to compile the BWA binary. Move to this directory and compile using:

cd bwa-0.7.5a
make

The compiled binary is called bwa. You should find it within the same folder (bwa-0.7.5a in this example). You may also find other compiled binaries; at time of writing, a second binary called bwamem-lite is also included. You can disregard this file for now. Finally, just add the BWA binary to your path to make it available on the command line. This completes the installation process.

  • Testing

Open a shell and run:

bwa 

This should print out some version and author information as well as a list of commands. As the Usage line states, to use BWA you will always build your command lines like this:

bwa <command> [options] 

This means you first make the call to the binary (bwa), then you specify which command (method) you wish to use (e.g. index) then any options (i.e. arguments such as input files or parameters) used by the program to perform that command.


2. SAMtools

Read the overview of the SAMtools software on the SAMtools project homepage, then download the latest version of the software package.

  • Installation

Unpack the tar file using:

tar xvzf samtools-0.1.19.tar.bz2 

This will produce a directory called samtools-0.1.19 containing the files necessary to compile the SAMtools binary. Move to this directory and compile using:

cd samtools-0.1.19 
make 

The compiled binary is called samtools. You should find it within the same folder (samtools-0.1.19 in this example). Finally, add the SAMtools binary to your path to make it available on the command line. This completes the installation process.

  • Testing

Open a shell and run:

samtools 

This should print out some version information as well as a list of commands. As the Usage line states, to use SAMtools you will always build your command lines like this:

samtools <command> [options] 

This means you first make the call to the binary (samtools), then you specify which command (method) you wish to use (e.g. index) then any options (i.e. arguments such as input files or parameters) used by the program to perform that command. This is the same convention as used by BWA.


3. HTSlib (optional)

Read the overview of the HTSlib software on the HTSlib project homepage, then download the latest version of the software package.

  • Installation

Unpack the tar file using:

tar xjf htslib-master.zip 

This will produce a directory called htslib-master containing the files necessary to compile the HTSlib binary. Move to this directory and compile using:

cd htslib-master 
make 

The compiled binary is called htscmd. You should find it within the same folder (htslib-master in this example). Finally, add the HTSlib binary to your path to make it available on the command line. This completes the installation process.

  • Testing

Open a shell and run:

htscmd 

This should print out some version information as well as a list of commands. As the Usage line states, to use HTSlib you will always build your command lines like this:

htscmd <command> [options] 

This means you first make the call to the binary (htscmd), then you specify which command (method) you wish to use (e.g. index) then any options (i.e. arguments such as input files or parameters) used by the program to perform that command. This is the same convention as used by BWA and SAMtools.


4. Picard

Read the overview of the Picard software on the Picard project homepage, then download the latest version of the software package.

  • Installation

Unpack the zip file using:

tar xjf picard-tools-1.94.zip 

This will produce a directory called picard-tools-1.94 containing the Picard jar files. Picard tools are distributed as pre-compiled Java executables (jar files) so there is no need to compile them. Finally, add the Picard directory to your path to make the tools available on the command line. This completes the installation process.

  • Testing

Open a shell and run:

java -jar AddOrReplaceReadGroups.jar -h 

This should print out some version and usage information about the AddOrReplaceReadGroups.jar tool. At this point you will have noticed an important difference between BWA and Picard tools. To use BWA, we called on the BWA program and specified which of its internal tools we wanted to apply. To use Picard, we called on Java itself as the main program, then specified which jar file to use, knowing that one jar file = one tool. This applies to all Picard tools; to use them you will always build your command lines like this:

java -jar <ToolName.jar> [options] 

Next we will see that GATK tools are called in yet another way. The reasons for how tools in a given software package are organized and invoked are largely due to the preferences of the software developers. They generally do not reflect strict technical requirements, although they can have an effect on speed and efficiency.


5. Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK)

Hopefully if you're reading this, you're already acquainted with the purpose of the GATK, so go ahead and download the latest version of the software package.

In order to access the downloads, you need to register for a free account on the GATK support forum. You will also need to read and accept the license agreement before downloading the GATK software package. Note that if you intend to use the GATK for commercial purposes, you will need to purchase a license from our commercial partner, Appistry. See Appistry's GATK FAQ page for an overview of the commercial licensing conditions.

  • Installation

Unpack the tar file using:

tar xjf GenomeAnalysisTK-2.6-4.tar.bz2 

This will produce a directory called GenomeAnalysisTK-2.6-4-g3e5ff60 containing the GATK jar file, which is called GenomeAnalysisTK.jar, as well as a directory of example files called resources. GATK tools are distributed as a single pre-compiled Java executable so there is no need to compile them. Finally, add the GATK directory to your path to make the tools available on the command line. This completes the installation process.

  • Testing

Open a shell and run:

java -jar GenomeAnalysisTK.jar -h 

This should print out some version and usage information, as well as a list of the tools included in the GATK. As the Usage line states, to use GATK you will always build your command lines like this:

java -jar GenomeAnalysisTK.jar -T <ToolName> [arguments] 

This means you first make the call to Java itself as the main program, then specify the GenomeAnalysisTK.jar file, then specify which tool you want, and finally you pass whatever other arguments (input files, parameters etc.) are needed for the analysis.

So this way of calling the program and selecting which tool to run is a little like a hybrid of how we called BWA and how we called Picard tools. To put it another way, if BWA is a standalone game device that comes preloaded with several games, Picard tools are individual game cartridges that plug into the Java console, and GATK is a single cartridge that also plugs into the Java console but contains many games.


6. IGV

The Integrated Genomics Viewer is a genome browser that allows you to view BAM, VCF and other genomic file information in context. It has a graphical user interface that is very easy to use, and can be downloaded for free (though registration is required) from this website.


7. RStudio IDE and R libraries ggplot2 and gsalib

Download the latest version of RStudio IDE. The webpage should automatically detect what platform you are running on and recommend the version most suitable for your system.

  • Installation

Follow the installation instructions provided. Binaries are provided for all major platforms; typically they just need to be placed in your Applications (or Programs) directory. Open RStudio and type the following command in the console window:

install.packages("ggplot2") 

This will download and install the ggplot2 library as well as any other library packages that ggplot2 depends on for its operation.

Now do the same thing to install the gsalib library:

install.packages("gsalib")

This will download and install the gsalib library.

Important note

If you are using a recent version of ggplot2, you may encounter an error when trying to generate the BQSR or VQSR recalibration plots. This is because our scripts are still using an older version of certain ggplot2 functions. We will fix this in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you'll need to either downgrade your version of ggplot2, or use the BQSR.R script manually according to the instructions in this tutorial.

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