• Open Access

Allelic imbalance metre (Allim), a new tool for measuring allele-specific gene expression with RNA-seq data


Correspondence: Christian Schlötterer, Fax: +43-1-25077-4390; E-mail: christian.schloetterer@vetmeduni.ac.at


Estimating differences in gene expression among alleles is of high interest for many areas in biology and medicine. Here, we present a user-friendly software tool, Allim, to estimate allele-specific gene expression. Because mapping bias is a major problem for reliable estimates of allele-specific gene expression using RNA-seq, Allim combines two different strategies to account for the mapping biases. In order to reduce the mapping bias, Allim first generates a polymorphism-aware reference genome that accounts for the sequence variation between the alleles. Then, a sequence-specific simulation tool estimates the residual mapping bias. Statistical tests for allelic imbalance are provided that can be used with the bias corrected RNA-seq data.