development version

  • Implemented allele ratio filtering for J gene discovery
  • J genes are discovered as part of the pipeline (previously, one needed to run the discoverj script manually)

v0.8.0 (2017-06-20)

  • Add a barcodes_exact column to the candidates table. It gives the number of unique barcode sequences that were used by the sequences in the set of exact sequences. Also, add a configuration setting barcode_consensus that can turn off consensus taking of barcode groups, which needs to be set to false for barcodes_exact to work.
  • Add a Ds_exact column to candidates table.
  • Add a D_coverage configuration option.
  • The pre-processing filtering step no longer reads in the full table of IgBLAST assignments, but filters the table piece by piece. Memory usage for this step therefore does not depend anymore on the dataset size and should always be below 1 GB.
  • The functionality of the parse subcommand has been integrated into the igblast subcommand. This means that igdiscover igblast now directly outputs a result table ( This makes it easier to use that subcommand directly instead of only via the workflow.
  • The igblast subcommand now always runs makeblastdb by itself and deletes the BLAST database afterwards. This reduces clutter and ensures the database is always up to date.
  • Remove the library_name configuration setting. Instead, the library_name is now always the same as the name of analysis directory.

v0.7.0 (2017-05-04)

  • Add an “allele ratio” criterion to the germline filter to further reduce the number of false positives. The filter is activated by default and can be configured through the allele_ratio setting in the configuration file. See the documentation for how it works.
  • Ignore the CDR3-encoding bases whenever comparing two V gene sequences.
  • Avoid finding 5’-truncated V genes by extending found hits towards the 5’ end.
  • By default, candidate sequences are no longer merged if they are nearly identical. That is, the differences setting within the two germline filter configuration sections is now set to zero by default. Previously, we believed the merging would remove some false positives, but it turns out we also miss true positives. It also seems that with the other changes in this version we also no longer get the particular false positives the setting was supposed to catch.
  • Implement an experimental discoverj script for J gene discovery. It is curently not run automatically as part of igdiscover run. See igdiscover discoverj --help for how to run it manually.
  • Add a config subcommand, which can be used to change the configuration file from the command-line.
  • Add a V_CDR3_start column to the tables. It describes where the CDR3 starts within the V sequence.
  • Similarly, add a CDR3_start column to the file describing where the CDR3 starts within a discovered V sequence. It is computed by using the most common CDR3 start of the sequences within the cluster.
  • Rename the compose subcommand to germlinefilter.
  • The init subcommand automatically fixes certain problems in the input database (duplicate sequences, empty records, duplicate sequence names). Previously, it would complain, but the user would have to fix the problems themselves.
  • Move source code to GitHub
  • Set up automatic code testing (continuous integration) via Travis
  • Many documentation improvements

v0.6.0 (2016-12-07)

  • The FASTA files of the input V/D/J gene lists now need to be named V.fasta, D.fasta and J.fasta. The species name is no longer part of the file name. This should reduce confusion when working with species not supported by IgBLAST.
  • The species: configuration setting in the configuration can (and should) now be left empty. Its only use was that it is passed to IgBLAST, but since IgDiscover provides IgBLAST with its own V/D/J sequences anyway, it does not seem to make a difference.
  • A “cross-mapping” detection has been added, which should reduce the number of false positives. See the documentation for an explanation.
  • Novel sequences identical to a database sequence no longer get the _S1234 suffix.
  • No longer trim trim the initial G run in sequences (due to RACE) by default. It is now a configuration setting.
  • Add cdr3_location configuration setting: It allows to set whether to use a CDR3 in addition to the barcode for grouping sequences.
  • Create a file by default (describing the de-barcoded groups)
  • The pre-processing filter is now configurable. See the preprocessing_filter section in the configuration file.
  • Many improvements to the documentation
  • Extended and fixed unit tests. These are now run via a CI system.
  • Statistics in JSON format are written to stats/stats.json.
  • IgBLAST 1.5.0 output can now be parsed. Parsing is also faster by 25%.
  • More helpful warning message when no sequences were discovered in an iteration.
  • Drop support for Python 3.3.

v0.5 (2016-09-01)

  • V sequences of the input database are now whitelisted by default. The meaning of the whitelist configuration option has changed: If set to false, those sequences are no longer whitelisted. To whitelist additional sequences, create a whitelist.fasta file as before.
  • Sequences with stop codons are now filtered out by default.
  • Use more stringent germline filtering parameters by default.

v0.4 (2016-08-24)

  • It is now possible to install and run IgDiscover on OS X. Appropriate Conda packages are available on bioconda.
  • Add column has_stop to, which indicates whether the candidate sequence contains a stop codon.
  • Add a configuration option that makes it possible to disable the 5’ motif check by setting check_motifs: false (the looks_like_V column is ignored in this case).
  • Make it possible to whitelist known sequences: If a found gene candidate appears in that list, the sequence is included in the list of discovered sequences even when it would otherwise not pass filtering criteria. To enable this, just add a whitelist.fasta file to the project directory before starting the analysis.
  • The criteria for germline filter and pre-germline filter are now configurable: See germline_filter and pre_germline_filter sections in the configuration file.
  • Different runs of IgDiscover with the same parameters on the same input files will now give the same results. See the seed parameter in the configuration, also on how to get non-reproducible results as before.
  • Both the germline and pre-germline filter are now applied in each iteration. Instead of the new_V_database.fasta file, two files named new_V_germline.fasta and new_V_pregermline.fasta are created.
  • The compose subcommand now outputs a filtered version of the file in addition to a FASTA file. The table contains columns closest_whitelist, which is the name of the closest whitelist sequence, and whitelist_diff, which is the number of differences to that whitelist sequence.

v0.3 (2016-08-08)

  • Optionally, sequences are not renamed in the file, but retain their original name as in the FASTA or FASTQ file. Set rename: false in the configuration file to get this behavior.
  • Started an “advanced” section in the manual.


  • IgDiscover can now also detect kappa and lambda light chain V genes (VK, VL)