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What's the difference between b37 and hg19 resources?

Hi, all. I have questions on resource bundles.
Are the 'hg19' bundle files just liftover from 'b37' bundles in UCSC-style? If so, why are there some variants in only one version and not the other? For example, the variant 'rs34872315 (on chr1)' is in b37 version of dbsnp137.excluding_sites_after_129.vcf, but not in hg19 version. At first, I thought it's because of the differences in reference genome (vcf files in the bundle are fit for the accompanying reference sequences). But the reference chromosome 1 was the same in both bundles. Can you help me to understand the difference between b37 and hg19 resource bundles?



  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Cambridge, MAMember, Administrator, Broadie admin

    Hi there,

    The two versions of the reference genomes are not exactly the same. There are a few differences, for example some bases that are flipped between strands. That is why we have liftover chain files to convert between the two versions. So there may be a few variants that are filtered out in one version relative to the other. But this should affect only a tiny proportion of variants.

  • ihleeihlee Member

    Yes, I expected a few differences in variant sets between one version and the other. But then, why were the accompanying reference sequence files the same? I diffed chromosome by chromosome between two fasta files, and only differences were chromosome M and Y.

  • Hi, I couldn't find the hg19Tob37 chain file in the bundle resources. Could you please let me know its updated location? Thanks.

  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Cambridge, MAMember, Administrator, Broadie admin

    Everything we provide should be in the resource bundle; if it's not in there, we don't have it. Did you look in the bundle on our FTP, or just in the small resources directory in the downloaded package?

  • mr_davemr_dave MarylandMember

    For those searching in 2017, the liftover chain files are not in the bundle, you can find them at

  • nandannandan Member

    Hi mr_dave,

    I was trying to get the liftover chain files for converting my vcf files generated by

         mapping to hg19 reference to b37 so that I can use the GATK tools for annotation etc.

    However the ftp link provided above does not seem to work. (ftp://ftp.broadinstitute.org/Liftover_Chain_Files)
    I will appreciate any assistance,



  • shleeshlee CambridgeMember, Broadie ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @nandan,

    You can find lifeover chain files at the UCSC website.

  • kianaleekianalee Tucson, Arizona, Unitesd StatesMember

    I am trying to acquire a hg19 interval list for WGS.

    I downloaded the available WGS interval list for hg38 resources_broad_hg38_v0_wgs_calling_regions.hg38.interval_list and converted it into BED format:

    sed 's/:\|-/\t/gi' resources_broad_hg38_v0_wgs_calling_regions.hg38.interval_list > resources_broad_hg38_v0_wgs_calling_regions.hg38.bed

    I then uploaded this onto the UCSC liftover tool, but it said this format was unsupported even though it requested a BED format.

    Are there any other ways to acquire an hg19 interval list for WGS?
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