Question: DESeq Variance Stabilizing Transformation

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Hickman, R.J. Richard •

**50**wrote:Dear All,
I am looking for some feedback regarding the use of the variance-
stabilization (VST) methods found in the DESeq2 package. For me, the
purpose for applying this transformation is to be able to generate
moderated fold changes for clustering of genes (not samples as
described in the DESeq vignette).
My data consists of a time series, where for each time point there is
a "treated" sample and a "control" sample. Each sample (timepoint)
consists of 4 biological replicates.
I performed the VST on the entire set of data and plot the per-gene
standard deviation against the rank of the
mean* (see attached figure timeseriesVST.png), for the shifted
logarithm log2 (n + 1) (left) and the variance stabilizing
transformation (right), it does not appear to have a pronounced
effect.
However, if i set up a count dataset that consists of the samples
corresponding to one timepoint only (see attached figure
singleTimepointVST.png), and perform the VST and plot the standard
deviation against rank of the mean, the transformed values have a much
better stabilized standard deviation.
So my questions are: Is there anyway to obtain better variance
stabilized data when considering the entire timeseries? Should I just
perform the VST on a per timepoint basis; after all I will only be
computing fold changes between treatment and control samples at the
same timepoint.
Best wishes,
Richard
*The procedure was performed as per the DESeq2 manual:
dds <- estimateSizeFactors(dds)
dds <- estimateDispersions(dds)
vsd <- varianceStabilizingTransformation(dds)
par(mfrow=c(1,2))
plot(rank(rowMeans(counts(dds))),
genefilter::rowVars(log2(counts(dds)+1)), main="log2(x+1) transform")
plot(rank(rowMeans(assay(vsd))), genefilter::rowVars(assay(vsd)),
main="VST")
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modified 5.9 years ago
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Michael Love ♦

**22k**• written 5.9 years ago by Hickman, R.J. Richard •**50**