A Scalable Algorithm for Clonal Reconstruction from Sparse Time Course Genomic Sequencing Data

Author(s): Wazim Mohammed Ismail and Haixu Tang.

Long-term evolution experiments (LTEEs) reveal the dynamics of clonal compositions in an evolving bacterial population over time. Accurately inferring the haplotypes - the set of mutations that identify each clone, as well as the clonal frequencies and evolutionary history in a bacterial population is useful for the characterization of the evolutionary pressure on multiple correlated mutations instead of that on individual mutations. Here, we study the computational problem of reconstructing the haplotypes of bacterial clones from the variant allele frequencies (VAFs) observed during a time course in a LTEE. Previously, we formulated the problem using a maximum likelihood approach under the assumption that mutations occur spontaneously, and thus the likelihood of a mutation occurring in a specific clone is proportional to the frequency of the clone in the population when the mutation occurs. We also developed several heuristic greedy algorithms to solve the problem, which were shown to report accurate results of clonal reconstruction on simulated and real time course genomic sequencing data in LTEE. However, these algorithms are too slow to handle sparse time course data when the number of novel mutations occurring during the time course are much greater than the number of time points sampled. In this paper, we present a novel scalable algorithm for clonal reconstruction from sparse time course data. We employed a statistical method to estimate the sampling variance of VAFs derived from low coverage sequencing data and incorporated it into the maximum likelihood framework for clonal reconstruction on noisy sequencing data. We implemented the algorithm (named ClonalTREE2) and tested it using simulated and real sparse time course genomic sequencing data. The results showed that the algorithm was fast and achieved near- optimal accuracy under the maximum likelihood framework for the time course data involving hundreds of novel mutations at each time point. The source code of ClonalTREE2 is available at https:// github.com/COL-IU/ClonalTREE2.

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