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Bioinformatics. 2012 May 15;28(10):1307-13. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bts146. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

CONTRA: copy number analysis for targeted resequencing.

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Bioinformatics Core Facility, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC 3002, Australia.



In light of the increasing adoption of targeted resequencing (TR) as a cost-effective strategy to identify disease-causing variants, a robust method for copy number variation (CNV) analysis is needed to maximize the value of this promising technology.


We present a method for CNV detection for TR data, including whole-exome capture data. Our method calls copy number gains and losses for each target region based on normalized depth of coverage. Our key strategies include the use of base-level log-ratios to remove GC-content bias, correction for an imbalanced library size effect on log-ratios, and the estimation of log-ratio variations via binning and interpolation. Our methods are made available via CONTRA (COpy Number Targeted Resequencing Analysis), a software package that takes standard alignment formats (BAM/SAM) and outputs in variant call format (VCF4.0), for easy integration with other next-generation sequencing analysis packages. We assessed our methods using samples from seven different target enrichment assays, and evaluated our results using simulated data and real germline data with known CNV genotypes.

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