Fast and efficient QTL mapper for thousands of molecular phenotypes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Halit OngenOlivier Delaneau


Motivation: In order to discover quantitative trait loci (QTLs), multi-dimensional genomic data sets combining DNA-seq and ChiP-/RNA-seq require methods that rapidly correlate tens of thousands of molecular phenotypes with millions of genetic variants while appropriately controlling for multiple testing. Results: We have developed FastQTL, a method that implements a popular cis-QTL mapping strategy in a user- and cluster-friendly tool. FastQTL also proposes an efficient permutation procedure to control for multiple testing. The outcome of permutations is modeled using beta distributions trained from a few permutations and from which adjusted p-values can be estimated at any level of significance with little computational cost. The Geuvadis & GTEx pilot data sets can be now easily analyzed an order of magnitude faster than previous approaches. Availability: Source code, binaries and comprehensive documentation of FastQTL are freely available to download at

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