• Data augmentation;
  • Read alignment;
  • RNA-Seq;
  • Short reads;
  • Solexa sequencing;
  • Transcriptome

Summary Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology generates millions of short reads, which provide valuable information for various aspects of cellular activities and biological functions. A key step in NGS applications (e.g., RNA-Seq) is to map short reads to correct genomic locations within the source genome. While most reads are mapped to a unique location, a significant proportion of reads align to multiple genomic locations with equal or similar numbers of mismatches; these are called multireads. The ambiguity in mapping the multireads may lead to bias in downstream analyses. Currently, most practitioners discard the multireads in their analysis, resulting in a loss of valuable information, especially for the genes with similar sequences. To refine the read mapping, we develop a Bayesian model that computes the posterior probability of mapping a multiread to each competing location. The probabilities are used for downstream analyses, such as the quantification of gene expression. We show through simulation studies and RNA-Seq analysis of real life data that the Bayesian method yields better mapping than the current leading methods. We provide a C++ program for downloading that is being packaged into a user-friendly software.