Increased yields of duplex sequencing data by a series of quality control tools

Gundula Povysil, Monika Heinzl, Renato Salazar, Nicholas Stoler, Anton Nekrutenko, Irene Tiemann-Boege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Duplex sequencing is currently the most reliable method to identify ultra-low frequency DNA variants by grouping sequence reads derived from the same DNA molecule into families with information on the forward and reverse strand. However, only a small proportion of reads are assembled into duplex consensus sequences (DCS), and reads with potentially valuable information are discarded at different steps of the bioinformatics pipeline, especially reads without a family. We developed a bioinformatics toolset that analyses the tag and family composition with the purpose to understand data loss and implement modifications to maximize the data output for the variant calling. Specifically, our tools show that tags contain polymerase chain reaction and sequencing errors that contribute to data loss and lower DCS yields. Our tools also identified chimeras, which likely reflect barcode collisions. Finally, we also developed a tool that re-examines variant calls from raw reads and provides different summary data that categorizes the confidence level of a variant call by a tier-based system. With this tool, we can include reads without a family and check the reliability of the call, that increases substantially the sequencing depth for variant calling, a particular important advantage for low-input samples or low-coverage regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNAR Genomics and Bioinformatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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