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What is the GATKReport file format?

Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Administrator, Dev Posts: 10,690 admin
edited August 2015 in FAQs

A GATKReport is simply a text document that contains well-formatted, easy to read representation of some tabular data. Many GATK tools output their results as GATKReports, so it's important to understand how they are formatted and how you can use them in further analyses.

Here's a simple example:

#:GATKTable:ErrorRatePerCycle:The error rate per sequenced position in the reads
cycle  errorrate.61PA8.7         qualavg.61PA8.7                                         
0      7.451835696110506E-3      25.474613284804366                                      
1      2.362777171937477E-3      29.844949954504095                                      
2      9.087604507451836E-4      32.875909752547310
3      5.452562704471102E-4      34.498999090081895                                      
4      9.087604507451836E-4      35.148316651501370                                       
5      5.452562704471102E-4      36.072234352256190                                       
6      5.452562704471102E-4      36.121724890829700                                        
7      5.452562704471102E-4      36.191048034934500                                        
8      5.452562704471102E-4      36.003457059679770                                       

key    column
1:1000  T 
1:1001  A 
1:1002  C 

This report contains two individual GATK report tables. Every table begins with a header for its metadata and then a header for its name and description. The next row contains the column names followed by the data.

We provide an R library called gsalib that allows you to load GATKReport files into R for further analysis. Here are four simple steps to getting gsalib, installing it and loading a report.

1. Start R (or open RStudio)

$ R

R version 2.11.0 (2010-04-22)
Copyright (C) 2010 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
ISBN 3-900051-07-0

R is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
You are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions.
Type 'license()' or 'licence()' for distribution details.

  Natural language support but running in an English locale

R is a collaborative project with many contributors.
Type 'contributors()' for more information and
'citation()' on how to cite R or R packages in publications.

Type 'demo()' for some demos, 'help()' for on-line help, or
'help.start()' for an HTML browser interface to help.
Type 'q()' to quit R.

2. Get the gsalib library from CRAN

The gsalib library is available on the Comprehensive R Archive Network, so you can just do:

> install.packages("gsalib") 

From within R (we use RStudio for convenience).

In some cases you need to explicitly tell R where to find the library; you can do this as follows:

$ cat .Rprofile 

3. Load the gsalib library

> library(gsalib)

4. Finally, load the GATKReport file and have fun

> d ="/path/to/my.gatkreport")
> summary(d)
              Length Class      Mode
CountVariants 27     data.frame list
CompOverlap   13     data.frame list
Post edited by Geraldine_VdAuwera on

Geraldine Van der Auwera, PhD



  • bioinfo_89bioinfo_89 IndiaMember Posts: 62

    Hi Geraldine!!

    I might sound silly, but I wanted ask where is the Gatkreport stored as in, after I run any command, it says the Gatkreport is generated!! Where exactly is it stored? How do I find the report generated for my data?

  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Administrator, Dev Posts: 10,690 admin

    Hi @bioinfo_89‌ ,

    The gatkreport you are referring to is related to the Phone Home function, which sends us a brief report about the tools you ran and whether they worked ok (see the FAQ for more details). This report is not stored on your machine and would not be useful to you as it does not contain any actual data about your analysis.

    Geraldine Van der Auwera, PhD

  • bioinfo_89bioinfo_89 IndiaMember Posts: 62

    Ok! So the one which you are referring to above is which Gatkreport then?

  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Administrator, Dev Posts: 10,690 admin

    The example shown above is a GATKreport generated by the BaseRecalibrator. Other tools may produce other types of GATKreport. This article aims to explain the general format.

    Geraldine Van der Auwera, PhD

  • bioinfo_89bioinfo_89 IndiaMember Posts: 62

    OK!! Thnx!

  • HasaniHasani GermanyMember Posts: 30

    Hello Geraldine,

    I'm using BaseRecalibrator and trying to wrape my head around the report it generated. Would you please clarify the difference between RecalTable0, RecalTable1, RecalTable2? If I want to show simply the Qualityscores before and after, what should I use? I'm afraid, I could not find on the web, anything helpful!

    Many thanks in advance!


  • SheilaSheila Broad InstituteMember, Broadie, Moderator, Dev Posts: 4,284 admin


    Hi Hasani,

    This article should help you:

    GATK does not output a table that shows the quality scores before and after for each site. The only way you can get them is by extracting them from the BAM files (eg with some kind of script).


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