Question: Should I use reads with good quality but failed-vendor flag?
gravatar for Tao
4.4 years ago by
Tao420 wrote:

Hi guys,

Quick question is: I have some mapped reads in bam file which have good read quality, but they have sam flag 0x200 which means they didn't pass the vendor check. Should I include them or not in downstream analysis?

Long question is: what' s the relationship between read quality score and Chastity score?

First, everybody may know read quality score:

Reads quality score(phred score) is calculated by -10*log(P(error_base)), P(error_base) represents the probability that the base is incorrect.

Second, I want to talk about Chastity score during the vendor check:

For reads in fastq format, there is a header field 'Y/N' which indicates whether the read pass filtering step. And the corresponding sam flag is 0x200, indicating "not passing filters, such as platform/vendor quality controls". How does Illumina set the filtering criteria?

As far as I know, read filtering by Illumina Real Time Analysis (RTA) happens during the run, and filtering is determined by Chastity score. Chastity Score is calculated by “the ratio of the highest of the four (base type) intensities to the sum of highest two”. Illumina described the vendor check as follows:

"To remove the least reliable data from the analysis, the raw data can be filtered to remove any clusters that have “too much” intensity corresponding to bases other than the called base. By default, the purity of the signal from each cluster is examined over the first 25 cycles and calculated as Chastity = Highest_Intensity / (Highest_Intensity + Next_Highest_Intensity) for each cycle. The new default filtering implemented at the base calling stage allows at most one cycle that is less than the Chastity threshold. The higher the value, the better. This value is very dependent on cluster density, since the major cause of an impure signal in the early cycles is the presence of another cluster within a few micrometers."

So, to my understanding, every cycle the Sequencer scan a cluster, there would be 4 kinds of signals from 4 bases(am I right?) the most significant base would the final choice. The bigger the signal intensity divergence is the better for base calling. For the first 25 cycles, Illumina allow at most one base with smaller signal intensity divergence, otherwise, Illumina would set the read as vendor failed. Is my understanding right so far?

But what is the relationship between the Phred score and the Chastity score? if they really have. Can I still use vendor failed reads if they have high phred score?

Thanks! Tao

ADD COMMENTlink modified 4.4 years ago by ablanchetcohen1.2k • written 4.4 years ago by Tao420

Curious. Why are the vendor failed reads in your dataset?

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.4 years ago • written 4.4 years ago by genomax92k

I downloaded the bam file from GTEx (dbGaP). The bam file contains all the reads, including mapped, unmapped, vendor failed reads. For a sample with ~100M reads, ~12M are labeled as vendor failed including both mapped and unmapped reads. Part of the vendor failed reads have read good quality. So, I'm not sure if I should include them.

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.4 years ago • written 4.4 years ago by Tao420
gravatar for ablanchetcohen
4.4 years ago by
ablanchetcohen1.2k wrote:

I second this comment. You should contact your vendor. I have never seen reads failing the filtering step indicated in the header field of a FASTQ file being given to a client. Why include these reads? They just take up storage space, and are likely to induce errors in the downstream analysis. There was either an error in the setting of the flag, or a mistake in giving you the reads.

ADD COMMENTlink written 4.4 years ago by ablanchetcohen1.2k

I checked the GTEx Project FAQ. The alignment was probably done in 2012, since TopHat v1.4.1 was used. This was the very dawn of RNA-Seq. The analyses dating back to this period are often suspicious since bioinformaticians were not yet familiar with RNA-Seq, and the software programs contained bugs more often than not. My recommendation is always to treat with suspicion any analysis results dating back to this period. Most likely, those preparing the data were not aware yet that these reads should be filtered out.

I would filter out all the "vendor failed reads", and redo the alignment using a more recent aligner, genome, and annotation. At least, that would be my recommendation based on my knowledge. To get a definitive answer, you could contact the staff at the GTex project.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.4 years ago by ablanchetcohen1.2k

Thanks, your comments are very helpful!

ADD REPLYlink written 4.4 years ago by Tao420

thanks for your comments. The sample is downloaded from a public project GTEx. I'm also confused why they deposit so many(10M vendor failed for a 100M sample) vendor-failed reads on dbGaP. In my study, I didn't realize this problem at first, which causing a big problem now. In your opinion, such reads should be removed without considering reads quality?

ADD REPLYlink written 4.4 years ago by Tao420

Short answer yes.

They were "failed" by Illumina pre-processing software for a reason (e.g. mixed sequence from one cluster, phasing issues etc).

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.4 years ago • written 4.4 years ago by genomax92k
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