Problem to merge vcf files

sekurysekury Member Posts: 1
edited October 2012 in Ask the GATK team

Dear team,
I am new to GATK and I am having a hard time simply trying to merge vcf files. I have tried to solve the problem by referring to the guide and to previous posts, but nothing woked. Actually I found several discussions about the very same error message I receive, but it seems that no clear answere was provided. Here is this message:

ERROR ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ERROR A USER ERROR has occurred (version 2.1-12-ga99c19d):
ERROR The invalid arguments or inputs must be corrected before the GATK can proceed
ERROR Please do not post this error to the GATK forum
ERROR See the documentation (rerun with -h) for this tool to view allowable command-line arguments.
ERROR Visit our website and forum for extensive documentation and answers to
ERROR commonly asked questions
ERROR MESSAGE: Your input file has a malformed header: We never saw the required CHROM header line (starting with one #) for the input VCF file
ERROR ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have tried three different MS Dos commands to do the task (see belbow), but the message didn't change:

1. java -jar GenomeAnalysisTK.jar -T CombineVariants -R E:\RessourcesGATK\ucsc.hg19.fasta -V:sample1 E:\TestGATK\sample1.vcf -V:sample2 E:\TestGATK\sample2.vcf -o combined.vcf

2. java -jar GenomeAnalysisTK.jar -R E:\RessourcesGATK\ucsc.hg19.fasta -T CombineVariants  --variant E:\TestGATK\sample1.vcf  --variant E:\TestGATK\sample2.vcf  -o output.vcf  -genotypeMergeOptions UNIQUIFY -jar GenomeAnalysisTK.jar -R E:\RessourcesGATK\ucsc.hg19.fasta  -T CombineVariants  --variant E:\TestGATK\sample1.vcf  --variant E:\TestGATK\sample2.vcf  -o output.vcf  -genotypeMergeOptions PRIORITIZE  -priority foo,bar

I have also tried to use the reference human_g1k_v37.fasta as a resource, but it was the same. I have suppressed the # before CHROM in the header line, tested vcf generated by Samtools or by GATK, but it did not change anything.
Is this a problem of environment? I haven't read anything mentioning that GATK could not work with MS Dos.

Thank you very much for your help.

Post edited by Geraldine_VdAuwera on

Best Answer

  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Administrator, Dev Posts: 10,305 admin
    Answer ✓

    Hi there,

    The error message tells you: your input vcf is malformed. To confirm this is the problem, you can validate your file with the Picard tools.

    Geraldine Van der Auwera, PhD


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