HiTea: a computational pipeline to identify non-reference transposable element insertions in Hi-C data

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
D. JainPeter J Park


Hi-C is a common technique for assessing three-dimensional chromatin conformation. Recent studies have shown that long-range interaction information in Hi-C data can be used to generate chromosome-length genome assemblies and identify large-scale structural variations. Here, we demonstrate the use of Hi-C data in detecting mobile transposable element (TE) insertions genome-wide. Our pipeline HiTea (Hi-C based Transposable element analyzer) capitalizes on clipped Hi-C reads and is aided by a high proportion of discordant read pairs in Hi-C data to detect insertions of three major families of active human TEs. Despite the uneven genome coverage in Hi-C data, HiTea is competitive with the existing callers based on whole genome sequencing (WGS) data and can supplement the WGS-based characterization of the TE insertion landscape. We employ the pipeline to identify TE insertions from human cell-line Hi-C samples. HiTea is available at https://github.com/parklab/HiTea and as a Docker image.

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