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Robust Lineage Reconstruction From High-Dimensional Single-Cell Data

G. Giecold, E. Marco, L. Trippa, Guo-Cheng Yuan
Published 2016 · Computer Science, Biology

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Single-cell gene expression data provide invaluable resources for systematic characterization of cellular hierarchy in multi-cellular organisms. However, cell lineage reconstruction is still often associated with significant uncertainty due to technological constraints. Such uncertainties have not been taken into account in current methods. We present ECLAIR, a novel computational method for the statistical inference of cell lineage relationships from single-cell gene expression data. ECLAIR uses an ensemble approach to improve the robustness of lineage predictions, and provides a quantitative estimate of the uncertainty of lineage branchings. We show that the application of ECLAIR to published datasets successfully reconstructs known lineage relationships and significantly improves the robustness of predictions. In conclusion, ECLAIR is a powerful bioinformatics tool for single-cell data analysis. It can be used for robust lineage reconstruction with quantitative estimate of prediction accuracy.
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