Genome-Wide Analysis

ASGAL tool is specifically designed to perform AS prediction based on a splice-aware alignment of a RNA-seq sample against the splicing graph of a specific gene. The current version of ASGAL performs efficiently in time when a limited set of genes are analyzed, while for genome-wide analysis we have implemented a pre-processing step that aims to speed up the process of filtering reads that map to genes under investigation.

The genome-wide mode of ASGAL is mainly based on the quasi-mapping algorithm of Salmon and it can be summarized as follows:

  1. using the quasi-mapping, it quantifies the transcripts of the genes and quick assigns each read to them

  2. using the alignments produced by Salmon, it builds a set of smaller samples, one for each considered gene

  3. it splits the input references and annotations in multiple references and annotations

  4. it runs ASGAL on each gene

ASGAL can be run in genome-wide mode by passing to the asgal script (the same used to run ASGAL on a single gene) the “–multi” flag:

# Single-end sample
./asgal --multi \
        -g [genome.fasta] \
        -a [annotation.gtf] \
        -s [sample.fa] \
        -t [transcripts.fasta] \
        -o [output_folder]

# Paired-end sample
./asgal --multi \
        -g [genome.fasta] \
        -a [annotation.gtf] \
        -s [sample1.fa] \
        -s2 [sample2.fa] \
        -t [transcripts.fasta] \
        -o [output_folder]

This script takes as input:

  • the chromosome sequences
  • the annotation of the considered genes
  • the RNA-Seq samples
  • the transcripts of the considered genes
  • the output folder

and it produces in the output folder:

  • the refs folder which contains the chromosome sequences
  • the annos folder which contains the annotations, one for each considered gene
  • the samples folder which contains the samples, one for each considered gene
  • the salmon folder which contains the outputs of Salmon
  • the ASGAL folder which contains the outputs of ASGAL
  • the logs folder containing the logs file for the different steps of the pipeline

Warning 1

The transcript IDs contained in the input annotation and in the input transcripts fasta file should match. If not, the script won’t split the input sample in smaller samples and ASGAL won’t produce any output.

Warning 2

When using a paired-end sample, read headers must have explicit mate pairing information.

Command Line Arguments

  • the script shows usage information with -h (--help)




--multi                     use this to run ASGAL in genome-wide mode
-g,--genome INFILE          FASTA input file containing the chromosome sequences
-a,--annotation INFILE      GTF input file containing the annotations of considered genes
-s,--sample INFILE          FASTA input file containing the first RNA-Seq sample (can be gzipped)
-s2,--sample2 INFILE        FASTA input file containing the second RNA-Seq sample (can be gzipped)
-t,--transcripts INFILE     FASTA input file containing the transcript sequences of the
                            considered genes (can be gzipped)
-o,--output OUTFOLD         output name folder
-l,--L <int>                minimum lenght of MEMs used to build the
                            alignments (default: 15)
-e,--eps <int>              error rate, a value from 0 to 100 used to
                            compute the maximum number of allowed errors
                            (default: 3)
-w,--support <int>          minimum number of reads needed to confirm an event
                            (default: 3)
--allevents                 output all events, not only the novel ones
                            (default: only novels)


We built a simple example using 19 genes from human chromosomes 13 and Y. To run the example:

1 download the example data from here

2 unzip the archive:

tar xfz GW_ASGAL_example.tar.gz
cd GW_ASGAL_example

3 run the ASGAL pipeline:

/path/to/asgal --multi -g genome.fa -a annotations.gtf -s sample1.fa.gz -t transcripts.fa.gz -o outFold