Data quality control (--qc-db)#

PopPUNK now comes with some basic quality control options, which you should run on your sketch database made with --create-db by running --qc-db as follows:

poppunk --qc-db --ref-db example_db --type-isolate 12754_4_79 --length-range 2000000 3000000

For poppunk_assign, instead add --run-qc:

poppunk_assign --query queries.txt --db example_db --run-qc --max-zero-dist 1 --max-merge 3

The following criteria are available:

  • Outlying genome length (calculated during sketching, for assemblies or reads) with --length-range and/or --length-sigma.

  • Too many ‘N’s with --prop-n and/or --upper-n.

  • Outlying core or accessory distances with --max-pi-dist and --max-a-dist respectively.

  • Too many zero distances with --max-zero-dist.

For poppunk --create-db only:

  • Names of samples to remove (e.g. failing external QC) with --remove-samples.

For poppunk_assign only:

  • Maximum number of clusters a single isolate can cause to merge with --max-merge.

  • Betweenness of queries (not automated, just reported) with --betweenness.

In all cases a file will be written at qcreport.txt which lists the failing samples, and the reasons why they failed. Adding --qc-keep will only write the file and not remove failing samples. You may also add --retain-failures to write a separate sketch database with the failed samples.

Random match chances in PopPUNK are only calculated and added to the database after the chosen QC step. If you use sketchlib directly, they will be added without any automated QC.

QC of input sequences#

The first QC step is applied directly to the input sequences themselves, to identify poor quality sequences.

You can change the genome length cutoff with --length-sigma which sets the maximum number of standard deviations from the mean, and --length-range which sets an absolute range of allowable sizes.

Ambiguous bases are controlled by --prop-n which gives the maximum percentage of Ns, and --upper-n which gives the absolute maximum value.

QC of pairwise distances#

The second QC step uses the pairwise distances, to enable the removal of outlier samples that may not be part of the taxon being studied. This is with reference to a type isolate. The type isolate will be selected by PopPUNK, unless specified using --type-isolate.

By default, the maximum allowed accessory distance is 0.5 to ensure you check for contamination. However, many species do really have high accessory values above this range, in which case you should increase the value of --max-a-dist.

The maximum allowed core distance is also 0.5, by default. This can be altered with --max-pi-dist.

All sequences differing from the type isolate by distances greater than either threshold will be identified by the analysis.

Each isolate may have a proportion of distances that are exactly zero as set by --max-zero-dist.

QC of the network (assign only)#

Finally, you may also check network properties.

Maximum number of clusters a single isolate can cause to merge is set with --max-merge. More than this number of links across the original clusters will result in removal of the isolate.

Betweenness of queries can be reported with --betweenness, which may be useful to prune the input in more complex cases. This does not cause automated removal as it’s difficult to set a sensible threshold across datasets. You will therefore need to re-run and remove samples yourself.