Tutorial: Fasta Format, Custom Genomes, and GATK Chromosome ordering
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Fasta Format, Custom Genomes, and GATK Chromosome ordering

1000 Genomes human reference genome b37: hg_g1k_v37

The version of hg_g1k_v37 (human b37) indexed for tools at Galaxy Main (http://usegalaxy.ong) has correct GATK formatting. It was obtained from the GATK Resource Bundle. The list of chromosomes plus formatting help is detailed below.

Other sources are known to have a different chromosome ordering. Specifically, the MT chromosome is listed first and this is problematic for GATK usage. Full details about GATK inputs and resources are hosted by the Broad Institute tool authors here: what-input-files-does-the-gatk-accept-require

Reference genome hg_g1k_v37 chromosome ordering in Galaxy 

  • indexed for tools on http://usegalaxy.org
  • indexed for tools on Cloudman
  • indexes are available from the Galaxy rsync server for local Galaxy use
1 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:1:1:249250621:1
2 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:2:1:243199373:1
3 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:3:1:198022430:1
4 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:4:1:191154276:1
5 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:5:1:180915260:1
6 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:6:1:171115067:1
7 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:7:1:159138663:1
8 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:8:1:146364022:1
9 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:9:1:141213431:1
10 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:10:1:135534747:1
11 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:11:1:135006516:1
12 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:12:1:133851895:1
13 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:13:1:115169878:1
14 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:14:1:107349540:1
15 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:15:1:102531392:1
16 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:16:1:90354753:1
17 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:17:1:81195210:1
18 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:18:1:78077248:1
19 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:19:1:59128983:1
20 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:20:1:63025520:1
21 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:21:1:48129895:1
22 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:22:1:51304566:1
X dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:X:1:155270560:1
Y dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:Y:2649521:59034049:1
MT gi|251831106|ref|NC_012920.1| Homo sapiens mitochondrion, complete genome
GL000207.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000207.1:1:4262:1
GL000226.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000226.1:1:15008:1
GL000229.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000229.1:1:19913:1
GL000231.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000231.1:1:27386:1
GL000210.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000210.1:1:27682:1
GL000239.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000239.1:1:33824:1
GL000235.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000235.1:1:34474:1
GL000201.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000201.1:1:36148:1
GL000247.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000247.1:1:36422:1
GL000245.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000245.1:1:36651:1
GL000197.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000197.1:1:37175:1
GL000203.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000203.1:1:37498:1
GL000246.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000246.1:1:38154:1
GL000249.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000249.1:1:38502:1
GL000196.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000196.1:1:38914:1
GL000248.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000248.1:1:39786:1
GL000244.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000244.1:1:39929:1
GL000238.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000238.1:1:39939:1
GL000202.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000202.1:1:40103:1
GL000234.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000234.1:1:40531:1
GL000232.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000232.1:1:40652:1
GL000206.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000206.1:1:41001:1
GL000240.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000240.1:1:41933:1
GL000236.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000236.1:1:41934:1
GL000241.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000241.1:1:42152:1
GL000243.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000243.1:1:43341:1
GL000242.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000242.1:1:43523:1
GL000230.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000230.1:1:43691:1
GL000237.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000237.1:1:45867:1
GL000233.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000233.1:1:45941:1
GL000204.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000204.1:1:81310:1
GL000198.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000198.1:1:90085:1
GL000208.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000208.1:1:92689:1
GL000191.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000191.1:1:106433:1
GL000227.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000227.1:1:128374:1
GL000228.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000228.1:1:129120:1
GL000214.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000214.1:1:137718:1
GL000221.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000221.1:1:155397:1
GL000209.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000209.1:1:159169:1
GL000218.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000218.1:1:161147:1
GL000220.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000220.1:1:161802:1
GL000213.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000213.1:1:164239:1
GL000211.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000211.1:1:166566:1
GL000199.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000199.1:1:169874:1
GL000217.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000217.1:1:172149:1
GL000216.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000216.1:1:172294:1
GL000215.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000215.1:1:172545:1
GL000205.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000205.1:1:174588:1
GL000219.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000219.1:1:179198:1
GL000224.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000224.1:1:179693:1
GL000223.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000223.1:1:180455:1
GL000195.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000195.1:1:182896:1
GL000212.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000212.1:1:186858:1
GL000222.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000222.1:1:186861:1
GL000200.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000200.1:1:187035:1
GL000193.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000193.1:1:189789:1
GL000194.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000194.1:1:191469:1
GL000225.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000225.1:1:211173:1
GL000192.1 dna:supercontig supercontig::GL000192.1:1:547496:1

As with any fasta file, the ">" title line contains an identifier then (optionally) other description content. These two portions of the title label are separated by the first white space (space, tab) in the line. Most tools handle extra description content without issue, others do not. If a tool has problems (ends with unexpected results or an error), remove the extra description line content leaving just the identifier itself (note that this may require starting an analysis over from the start - usually beginning with the mapping steps). To avoid problems, prepare your fasta file before use, before continuing with indexing (through Data Manager or otherwise), and/or before using a fasta dataset as a Custom genome.

Example ">" title line from hg_g1k_v37:

>1 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:1:1:249250621:1

What most tools will recognize as the "sequence identifier":


The portion to remove if "extra description" content is a problem:

 dna:chromosome chromosome:GRCh37:1:1:249250621:1

^ note leading space

Tools to format fasta genomes: remove this extra description content and wrap sequence lines

  • Fasta-To-Tabular: When using the option to split title line into two columns, this will effective split the identifier from the description at the first white space.
  • Tabular-to-Fasta: Select the first column as the identifier, the third column as the sequence, leaving the second column (description) behind. This creates a strict fasta formatted genome for downstream use (including indexing).
  • FASTA Width formatter: This tool "wraps" sequence lines to a consistent length. 40-80 bases is standard, 60 is a common choice. Some tools require wrapping. These are often tools used downstream of mapping in an analysis. Most NGS mappers to not require fasta wrapping, all will accept fasta wrapping, and NONE will expect fastq data to be wrapped (know the difference between fasta and fastq). 

Using a Custom genome permits users a great deal of flexibility in which genomes to load and use with tools. This is on purpose and a big part of what makes the Custom genome function so useful (And unique! Custom genomes that have been promoted to Custom Builds can even be used in Galaxy for Custom Visualizations). But this flexibility means that correct formatting is the responsibility of the user. No one likes attempting to decode confusing error messages from 3rd party tools. No one likes starting over!

Clean up the identifiers and wrap your fasta sequence lines if at all possible - before starting an analysis.

It is a Best Practise to do all three when preparing a fasta file for use with tools. This is especially important when creating a Custom reference genome and/or build. This can also be important when using a genome from the history with a Data Manager to create indexes on a local or cloud Galaxy. In short, proper, conservative formating avoids problems. Tools errors may or may not report exact explanations about why a job was not successful. In the majority of cases when issues come up, there are reference genome mismatch problems or an expected fasta format incompatibility. Use strict fasta format and the issue will likely resolve.

Help resources:

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