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PLoS Comput Biol. 2017 Jul 19;13(7):e1005665. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005665. eCollection 2017 Jul.

Automatic analysis and 3D-modelling of Hi-C data using TADbit reveals structural features of the fly chromatin colors.

Serra F1,2,3, Baù D1,2,3, Goodstadt M1,2,3, Castillo D1,2,3, Filion GJ2,3, Marti-Renom MA1,2,3,4.

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CNAG-CRG, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Barcelona, Spain.
Gene Regulation, Stem Cells and Cancer Program, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain.
ICREA, Barcelona, Spain.


The sequence of a genome is insufficient to understand all genomic processes carried out in the cell nucleus. To achieve this, the knowledge of its three-dimensional architecture is necessary. Advances in genomic technologies and the development of new analytical methods, such as Chromosome Conformation Capture (3C) and its derivatives, provide unprecedented insights in the spatial organization of genomes. Here we present TADbit, a computational framework to analyze and model the chromatin fiber in three dimensions. Our package takes as input the sequencing reads of 3C-based experiments and performs the following main tasks: (i) pre-process the reads, (ii) map the reads to a reference genome, (iii) filter and normalize the interaction data, (iv) analyze the resulting interaction matrices, (v) build 3D models of selected genomic domains, and (vi) analyze the resulting models to characterize their structural properties. To illustrate the use of TADbit, we automatically modeled 50 genomic domains from the fly genome revealing differential structural features of the previously defined chromatin colors, establishing a link between the conformation of the genome and the local chromatin composition. TADbit provides three-dimensional models built from 3C-based experiments, which are ready for visualization and for characterizing their relation to gene expression and epigenetic states. TADbit is an open-source Python library available for download from

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