A statistical approach for identifying differential distributions in single-cell RNA-seq experiments

Genome Biology
Keegan KorthauerChristina Kendziorski


The ability to quantify cellular heterogeneity is a major advantage of single-cell technologies. However, statistical methods often treat cellular heterogeneity as a nuisance. We present a novel method to characterize differences in expression in the presence of distinct expression states within and among biological conditions. We demonstrate that this framework can detect differential expression patterns under a wide range of settings. Compared to existing approaches, this method has higher power to detect subtle differences in gene expression distributions that are more complex than a mean shift, and can characterize those differences. The freely available R package scDD implements the approach.


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Single-Cell Analysis
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