Forum:Seurat vs Monocle
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4.9 years ago

Just came across the following thread in Github , I've analyzed all of my single-cell RNA-seq data using Seurat V3.0 and recently came across Monocle. Looking for opinions if I should move to Monocle or functions available in Seurat is enough for single-cell RNA-seq data exploration.

Seurat vs Monocle

Github Thread

R RNA-Seq next-gen single-cell • 7.0k views
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I would imagine, based on the wording, that the reviewer is not a bioinformatician and may not, therefore, understand the 'nuances' of software dev. Seurat is one of the leading analysis suites for scRNA-seq and is actively maintained and being further developed by Rahul [Satija]. Its 'straight-forward' nature is exactly what makes it one of the leading programs. I would find it quite easy to dismiss that reviewer's comment were it my manuscript.

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Yeah, the only thing Seurat doesn't really do is pseudotime projections. So unless that would somehow be helpful for your analysis, I don't think that holds any water. This does indeed sound like someone who hasn't dealt with such data hands-on much.

Actually, the Satija lab's response on that thread is pretty perfect - "Haters gonna hate."

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Unless seurat lacks an analysis option that is essential for the study a reviewer asking that a specific software package be used for analysis sounds problematic.

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4.9 years ago
igor 13k

I think that the reviewer comment may not have been optimally worded. Many people have focused on the "could be done in Monocle" part, but the reviewer does not say that it should be done in Monocle. It's probably more important to focus on "deeper investigations could yield interesting findings".

I don't think that the reviewer argues that Seurat is better or worse than Monocle. They are looking for more in-depth analysis. Popular scRNA-seq packages like Seurat or Monocle will generate a t-SNE/UMAP, identify a set of clusters, and calculate cluster markers. The packages will not tell you which of those clusters are important or uncover some novel biological insights. You often need some additional custom analysis for that.

You can look at some of the Satija Lab publications that aren't new computational methods, such as Developmental diversification of cortical inhibitory interneurons. Although the authors use Seurat extensively and have an interest in promoting it, if you look at the figures, they do not look like they are copied and pasted from the Seurat tutorials (unlike many other publications). I highly doubt this reviewer would ask them to use a different package (even if the names were hidden).

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