The current GATK version is 3.7-0
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Get notifications!

You can opt in to receive email notifications, for example when your questions get answered or when there are new announcements, by following the instructions given here.

Did you remember to?

1. Search using the upper-right search box, e.g. using the error message.
2. Try the latest version of tools.
3. Include tool and Java versions.
4. Tell us whether you are following GATK Best Practices.
5. Include relevant details, e.g. platform, DNA- or RNA-Seq, WES (+capture kit) or WGS (PCR-free or PCR+), paired- or single-end, read length, expected average coverage, somatic data, etc.
6. For tool errors, include the error stacktrace as well as the exact command.
7. For format issues, include the result of running ValidateSamFile for BAMs or ValidateVariants for VCFs.
8. For weird results, include an illustrative example, e.g. attach IGV screenshots according to Article#5484.
9. For a seeming variant that is uncalled, include results of following Article#1235.

Did we ask for a bug report?

Then follow instructions in Article#1894.

Formatting tip!

Wrap blocks of code, error messages and BAM/VCF snippets--especially content with hashes (#)--with lines with three backticks ( ``` ) each to make a code block as demonstrated here.

Jump to another community
Picard 2.9.4 is now available. Download and read release notes here.
GATK 3.7 is here! Be sure to read the Version Highlights and optionally the full Release Notes.

picard liftovervcf parsing error

cmccabecmccabe ChicagoMember
edited January 9 in Ask the GATK team

I am using picard liftover vcf to algin variants from hg38 to hg19. I am not sure what the error is referring to though it seems to be an issue with the vcf (I have copied a few lines of the format). Thank you :).

  java -jar /home/cmccabe/Desktop/NGS/picard-tools-1.140/picard.jar LiftoverVcf \
  I=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/align/out.vcf \
  O=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/tvc/IDP.lifted_over.vcf \
  CHAIN=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/NGS/picard-tools-1.140/resources/hg38ToHg19.over.chain \
  REJECT=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/tvc/IDP_rejected_variants.vcf \

java version on ubuntu 14.04
java version "1.8.0_111"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_111-b14)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.111-b14, mixed mode)

trace error
[Mon Jan 09 08:04:50 CST 2017] picard.vcf.LiftoverVcf INPUT=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/tvc/out.vcf OUTPUT=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/tvc/IDP.lifted_over.vcf CHAIN=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/NGS/picard-tools-1.140/resources/hg38ToHg19.over.chain REJECT=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/tvc/IDP_rejected_variants.vcf REFERENCE_SEQUENCE=/home/cmccabe/Desktop/NGS/picard-tools-1.140/resources/ucsc.hg19.fasta VERBOSITY=INFO QUIET=false VALIDATION_STRINGENCY=STRICT COMPRESSION_LEVEL=5 MAX_RECORDS_IN_RAM=500000 CREATE_INDEX=false CREATE_MD5_FILE=false GA4GH_CLIENT_SECRETS=client_secrets.json
[Mon Jan 09 08:04:50 CST 2017] Executing as cmccabe@DTV-A5211QLM on Linux 4.4.0-57-generic amd64; Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM 1.8.0_111-b14; Picard version: 1.140(a81bc82e781dae05c922d1dbcee737334612399f_1444244284) IntelDeflater
INFO 2017-01-09 08:04:51 LiftoverVcf Loading up the target reference genome.
INFO 2017-01-09 08:05:00 LiftoverVcf Lifting variants over and sorting.
[Mon Jan 09 08:05:00 CST 2017] picard.vcf.LiftoverVcf done. Elapsed time: 0.17 minutes.
To get help, see
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.IllegalStateException: Key CS found in VariantContext field INFO at chr1:11082610 but this key isn't defined in the VCFHeader. We require all VCFs to have complete VCF headers by default.
at htsjdk.variant.vcf.VCFEncoder.fieldIsMissingFromHeaderError(
at htsjdk.variant.vcf.VCFEncoder.encode(
at htsjdk.variant.variantcontext.writer.VCFWriter.add(
at picard.vcf.LiftoverVcf.doWork(
at picard.cmdline.CommandLineProgram.instanceMain(
at picard.cmdline.PicardCommandLine.instanceMain(
at picard.cmdline.PicardCommandLine.main(

VCF format: (few lines total 370)





INFO=<ID=TSA,Number=0,Type=String,Description="Type of sequence alteration. Child of term sequence_alteration as defined by the sequence ontology project.">

INFO=<ID=AF,Number=A,Type=Float,Description="Allele Frequency">






INFO=<ID=dbSNP_137,Number=0,Type=Flag,Description="Variants (including SNPs and indels) imported from dbSNP">


chr1 11082610 rs11689432 G A . . TSA=SNV;E_MO;E_Freq;E_HM;E_C;CS=pathogenic;dbSNP_137 GT 1/0
chr1 11107061 rs77977199 T G . . TSA=SNV;E_Freq;dbSNP_137 GT 1/0
chr1 17380507 rs11203289 G C . . TSA=SNV;E_MO;E_Freq;E_1000G;CS=pathogenic;dbSNP_137 GT 1/1

Post edited by cmccabe on

Issue · Github
by shlee

Issue Number
Last Updated
Closed By


  • shleeshlee CambridgeMember, Broadie, Moderator

    Hi @cmccabe,

    I've been out sick and will get to your question soon.

  • shleeshlee CambridgeMember, Broadie, Moderator

    @cmccabe When you run ValidateVariants on your VCF, what is the result?

  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Cambridge, MAMember, Administrator, Broadie

    The important bit of the error message is this, which is actually the internal validation result:

    Exception in thread "main" java.lang.IllegalStateException: Key CS found in VariantContext field INFO at chr1:11082610 but this key isn't defined in the VCFHeader. We require all VCFs to have complete VCF headers by default.

    This means there's an annotation in the VCF that is not explicitly defined in the header. This is allowed by the VCF specification but we consider that a bad idea and disallow it in our software. You can fix this using a Picard tool called FixVcfHeader. The tool isn't yet listed on the Picard docs website but you can see usage info here.

Sign In or Register to comment.