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Keywords:

  • allele-specific gene expression;
  • allelic imbalance;
  • gene expression;
  • mapping bias;
  • RNA-seq

Abstract

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.