I'd like to call diploid SNV variants from long-reads data (~80SMRTcells PacBio).

I have generated a draft reference genome for an indivudual from a heterozygous (~4%) species (Canu+Haplomerger2).

I can use this reference for some applications:

  • RNAseq mapping;
  • functional annotation;
  • duplicate detection;
  • synteny analysis

but not others:

  • analysis of compound heterozygotes;
  • allele-specific expression;
  • variant linkage

This is mainly why I need phasing. FYI, I tried Falcon + FalconUnzip too, but the daligner phase was just taking too much time/resources and I need to find a strategy to make it work in reasonable time (working on it).

Meanwhile, for phasing, It was suggested to use HapCUT2 - from Canu's FAQ

(1) "Avoid collapsing the genome" in Canu to get raw diploid assembly as complete & separate as possible (2) HaploMerger2 to get high-quality reference and alternative haploid assemblies (3) HapCUT2 or other phasing tools to get the high-quality haplotype assembly based on the reference haploid assembly.

However, HapCUT2 requires the input of a diploid SNV file. Which could be done if I had short-reads data, but yet haven't found a method for doing so with in my hands just long-reads data.

Strategies I tried to get the SNVs:

  • marginPhase : method paper

    • but I had a issue in running it
  • Clairvoyante : method paper

    • but I currently don't have access to suitable GPU machines to build the model - and I can't use the models provided by the authors because my organism is too different from human

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

  • $\begingroup$ At 4% heterozygosity, falcon-unzip is probably the best hope. Trio binning would be better but you don't have the right data. $\endgroup$
    – user172818
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @user172818 is it possible in your knowledge to run Falcon-Unzip on non-Falcon output? From here it looks like it's a no. $\endgroup$
    – aechchiki
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 10:00

2 Answers 2


You may want to try the longshot tool (https://github.com/pjedge/longshot) developed for calling variants in diploid genomes from long read data.


You could try aligning your reads to the draft reference genome with for example minimap2 and calling variants with freebayes. It appears there is a protocol for long reads: https://github.com/ekg/freebayes#re-genotyping-known-variants-and-calling-long-haplotypes

Disclaimer: I have not run freebayes myself, and it may be that this is a terrible idea. I would expect that calling SNVs (Single-nucleotide variants) from PacBio reads is very challenging. However, with enough coverage, I think it could be possible.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.