scQCEA: a framework for annotation and quality control report of single-cell RNA-sequencing data.
Nassiri I., Fairfax B., Lee A., Wu Y., Buck D., Piazza P.
BACKGROUND: Systematic description of library quality and sequencing performance of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data is imperative for subsequent downstream modules, including re-pooling libraries. While several packages have been developed to visualise quality control (QC) metrics for scRNA-seq data, they do not include expression-based QC to discriminate between true variation and background noise. RESULTS: We present scQCEA (acronym of the single-cell RNA sequencing Quality Control and Enrichment Analysis), an R package to generate reports of process optimisation metrics for comparing sets of samples and visual evaluation of quality scores. scQCEA can import data from 10X or other single-cell platforms and includes functions for generating an interactive report of QC metrics for multi-omics data. In addition, scQCEA provides automated cell type annotation on scRNA-seq data using differential gene expression patterns for expression-based quality control. We provide a repository of reference gene sets, including 2348 marker genes, which are exclusively expressed in 95 human and mouse cell types. Using scRNA-seq data from 56 gene expressions and V(D)J T cell replicates, we show how scQCEA can be applied for the visual evaluation of quality scores for sets of samples. In addition, we use the summary of QC measures from 342 human and mouse shallow-sequenced gene expression profiles to specify optimal sequencing requirements to run a cell-type enrichment analysis function. CONCLUSIONS: The open-source R tool will allow examining biases and outliers over biological and technical measures, and objective selection of optimal cluster numbers before downstream analysis. scQCEA is available at https://isarnassiri.github.io/scQCEA/ as an R package. Full documentation, including an example, is provided on the package website.