ZARP: An automated workflow for processing of RNA-seq data
Version 1

Workflow Type: Snakemake

ci GitHub license DOI:10.1101/2021.11.18.469017

ZARP (Zavolan-Lab Automated RNA-Seq Pipeline)

...is a generic RNA-Seq analysis workflow that allows users to process and analyze Illumina short-read sequencing libraries with minimum effort. The workflow relies on publicly available bioinformatics tools and currently handles single or paired-end stranded bulk RNA-seq data. The workflow is developed in Snakemake, a widely used workflow management system in the bioinformatics community.

According to the current ZARP implementation, reads are analyzed (pre-processed, aligned, quantified) with state-of-the-art tools to give meaningful initial insights into the quality and composition of an RNA-Seq library, reducing hands-on time for bioinformaticians and giving experimentalists the possibility to rapidly assess their data. Additional reports summarise the results of the individual steps and provide useful visualisations.

Note: For a more detailed description of each step, please refer to the workflow documentation.

Requirements

The workflow has been tested on:

  • CentOS 7.5
  • Debian 10
  • Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04

NOTE: Currently, we only support Linux execution.

Installation

1. Clone the repository

Go to the desired directory/folder on your file system, then clone/get the repository and move into the respective directory with:

git clone https://github.com/zavolanlab/zarp.git
cd zarp

2. Conda and Mamba installation

Workflow dependencies can be conveniently installed with the Conda package manager. We recommend that you install Miniconda for your system (Linux). Be sure to select Python 3 option. The workflow was built and tested with miniconda 4.7.12. Other versions are not guaranteed to work as expected.

Given that Miniconda has been installed and is available in the current shell the first dependency for ZARP is the Mamba package manager, which needs to be installed in the base conda environment with:

conda install mamba -n base -c conda-forge

3. Dependencies installation

For improved reproducibility and reusability of the workflow, each individual step of the workflow runs either in its own Singularity container or in its own Conda virtual environemnt. As a consequence, running this workflow has very few individual dependencies. The container execution requires Singularity to be installed on the system where the workflow is executed. As the functional installation of Singularity requires root privileges, and Conda currently only provides Singularity for Linux architectures, the installation instructions are slightly different depending on your system/setup:

For most users

If you do not have root privileges on the machine you want to run the workflow on or if you do not have a Linux machine, please install Singularity separately and in privileged mode, depending on your system. You may have to ask an authorized person (e.g., a systems administrator) to do that. This will almost certainly be required if you want to run the workflow on a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster.

NOTE: The workflow has been tested with the following Singularity versions:

  • v2.6.2
  • v3.5.2

After installing Singularity, install the remaining dependencies with:

mamba env create -f install/environment.yml

As root user on Linux

If you have a Linux machine, as well as root privileges, (e.g., if you plan to run the workflow on your own computer), you can execute the following command to include Singularity in the Conda environment:

mamba env update -f install/environment.root.yml

4. Activate environment

Activate the Conda environment with:

conda activate zarp

Extra installation steps (optional)

5. Non-essential dependencies installation

Most tests have additional dependencies. If you are planning to run tests, you will need to install these by executing the following command in your active Conda environment:

mamba env update -f install/environment.dev.yml

6. Successful installation tests

We have prepared several tests to check the integrity of the workflow and its components. These can be found in subdirectories of the tests/ directory. The most critical of these tests enable you to execute the entire workflow on a set of small example input files. Note that for this and other tests to complete successfully, additional dependencies need to be installed. Execute one of the following commands to run the test workflow on your local machine:

  • Test workflow on local machine with Singularity:
bash tests/test_integration_workflow/test.local.sh
  • Test workflow on local machine with Conda:
bash tests/test_integration_workflow_with_conda/test.local.sh

Execute one of the following commands to run the test workflow on a Slurm-managed high-performance computing (HPC) cluster:

  • Test workflow with Singularity:
bash tests/test_integration_workflow/test.slurm.sh
  • Test workflow with Conda:
bash tests/test_integration_workflow_with_conda/test.slurm.sh

NOTE: Depending on the configuration of your Slurm installation you may need to adapt file slurm-config.json (located directly under profiles directory) and the arguments to options --cores and --jobs in the file config.yaml of a respective profile. Consult the manual of your workload manager as well as the section of the Snakemake manual dealing with [profiles].

Running the workflow on your own samples

  1. Assuming that your current directory is the repository's root directory, create a directory for your workflow run and move into it with:

    mkdir config/my_run
    cd config/my_run
    
  2. Create an empty sample table and a workflow configuration file:

    touch samples.tsv
    touch config.yaml
    
  3. Use your editor of choice to populate these files with appropriate values. Have a look at the examples in the tests/ directory to see what the files should look like, specifically:

  4. Create a runner script. Pick one of the following choices for either local or cluster execution. Before execution of the respective command, you need to remember to update the argument of the --singularity-args option of a respective profile (file: profiles/{profile}/config.yaml) so that it contains a comma-separated list of all directories containing input data files (samples and any annotation files etc) required for your run.

    Runner script for local execution:

    cat << "EOF" > run.sh
    #!/bin/bash
    
    snakemake \
        --profile="../../profiles/local-singularity" \
        --configfile="config.yaml"
    
    EOF
    

    OR

    Runner script for Slurm cluster exection (note that you may need to modify the arguments to --jobs and --cores in the file: profiles/slurm-singularity/config.yaml depending on your HPC and workload manager configuration):

    cat << "EOF" > run.sh
    #!/bin/bash
    mkdir -p logs/cluster_log
    snakemake \
        --profile="../profiles/slurm-singularity" \
        --configfile="config.yaml"
    EOF
    

    When running the pipeline with conda you should use local-conda and slurm-conda profiles instead.

  5. Start your workflow run:

    bash run.sh
    

Sample downloads from SRA

An independent Snakemake workflow workflow/rules/sra_download.smk is included for the download of SRA samples with [sra-tools].

Note: as of Snakemake 7.3.1, only profile conda is supported. Singularity fails because the sra-tools Docker container only has sh but bash is required.

Note: The workflow uses the implicit temporary directory from snakemake, which is called with [resources.tmpdir].

The workflow expects the following config:

  • samples, a sample table (tsv) with column sample containing SRR identifiers, see example here.
  • outdir, an output directory
  • samples_out, a pointer to a modified sample table with location of fastq files
  • cluster_log_dir, the cluster log directory.

For executing the example one can use the following (with activated zarp environment):

snakemake --snakefile="workflow/rules/sra_download.smk" \
          --profile="profiles/local-conda" \
          --config samples="tests/input_files/sra_samples.tsv" \
                   outdir="results/sra_downloads" \
                   samples_out="results/sra_downloads/sra_samples.out.tsv" \
                   log_dir="logs" \
                   cluster_log_dir="logs/cluster_log"

After successful execution, results/sra_downloads/sra_samples.out.tsv should contain:

sample	fq1	fq2
SRR18552868	results/sra_downloads/SRR18552868/SRR18552868.fastq.gz	
SRR18549672	results/sra_downloads/SRR18549672/SRR18549672_1.fastq.gz	results/sra_downloads/SRR18549672/SRR18549672_2.fastq.gz

Metadata completion with HTSinfer

An independent Snakemake workflow workflow/rules/htsinfer.smk that populates the samples.tsv required by ZARP with the sample specific parameters seqmode, f1_3p, f2_3p, organism, libtype and index_size. Those parameters are inferred from the provided fastq.gz files by HTSinfer.

Note: The workflow uses the implicit temporary directory from snakemake, which is called with [resources.tmpdir].

The workflow expects the following config:

  • samples, a sample table (tsv) with column sample containing sample identifiers, as well as columns fq1 and fq2 containing the paths to the input fastq files see example here. If the table contains further ZARP compatible columns (see pipeline documentation), the values specified there by the user are given priority over htsinfer's results.
  • outdir, an output directory
  • samples_out, path to a modified sample table with inferred parameters
  • records, set to 100000 per default

For executing the example one can use the following (with activated zarp environment):

cd tests/test_htsinfer_workflow
snakemake \
    --snakefile="../../workflow/rules/htsinfer.smk" \
    --restart-times=0 \
    --profile="../../profiles/local-singularity" \
    --config outdir="results" \
             samples="../input_files/htsinfer_samples.tsv" \
             samples_out="samples_htsinfer.tsv" \
    --notemp \
    --keep-incomplete

However, this call will exit with an error, as not all parameters can be inferred from the example files. The argument --keep-incomplete makes sure the samples_htsinfer.tsv file can nevertheless be inspected.

After successful execution - if all parameters could be either inferred or were specified by the user - [OUTDIR]/[SAMPLES_OUT] should contain a populated table with parameters seqmode, f1_3p, f2_3p, organism, libtype and index_size for all input samples as described in the pipeline documentation.

Version History

main @ 930a818 (earliest) Created 21st Mar 2023 at 13:07 by Zavolan Lab

feat: addition of snakemake compatible format and linting (#104)


Frozen main 930a818
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Lab, Z. (2023). ZARP: An automated workflow for processing of RNA-seq data. WorkflowHub. https://doi.org/10.48546/WORKFLOWHUB.WORKFLOW.447.1
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Created: 21st Mar 2023 at 13:07

Last updated: 12th May 2023 at 16:33

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