Unassigned reads in Rsubread FeatureCounts
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am39 • 0
@am39-10874
Last seen 15 months ago

I'm using the featureCounts function of Rsubread to assign aligned reads to features. Something like ~20% of my reads are unassigned (in the "NoFeature") category. Is there any way to see which reads these are? (Maybe it's possible in command-line subread, outside of R?) I'd like to be able to look at my unassigned reads to understand if they're contamination or from an un-annotated part of the genome or what.

Thank you!

Rsubread • 239 views
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Wei Shi ★ 3.3k
@wei-shi-2183
Last seen 1 day ago
Australia/Melbourne/Olivia Newton-John …

The reportReads parameter allows you to output counting results for each read and then you can identify those unassigned reads.

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Thank you - that's what I needed!

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@gordon-smyth
Last seen 8 hours ago
WEHI, Melbourne, Australia

The NoFeature reads are from un-annotated parts of the genome. They can't be "contamination" because then they wouldn't be aligned to the genome and hence wouldn't be counted by featureCounts in the first place.

The R version of Rsubread has the same functionality as the command-line.

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Right, sorry I wasn't thinking clearly.

Nevertheless, I'd like to take a look at what those unsassigned reads are (i.e., which un-annotated regions of the genome they are from) - is there anywhere in the output I can find those unassigned reads? I don't see it in the R documentation of the featureCounts function.

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I'd say that you can have human DNA contamination and those reads would align to the human genome, typically to intergenic regions (outside the boundaries of annotated genes) and, to a lesser extent, to intronic regions.

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