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ADAPT  ·  Build Status codecov PRs Welcome Contributor Covenant MIT License Bioconda Package PyPI package

Activity-informed Design with All-inclusive Patrolling of Targets

ADAPT efficiently designs activity-informed nucleic acid diagnostics for viruses.

In particular, ADAPT designs assays with maximal predicted detection activity, in expectation over a virus's genomic diversity, subject to soft and hard constraints on the assay's complexity and specificity. ADAPT's designs are:

  • Comprehensive. Designs are effective against variable targets because ADAPT considers the full spectrum of their known genomic diversity.
  • Sensitive. ADAPT leverages predictive models of detection activity. It includes a pre-trained model of CRISPR-Cas13a detection activity, trained from ~19,000 guide-target pairs.
  • Specific. Designs can distinguish related species or lineages within a species. The approach accommodates G-U pairing, which is important in RNA applications.
  • End-to-end. ADAPT automatically downloads and curates data from public databases to provide designs rapidly at scale. The input can be as simple as a species or taxonomy in the form of an NCBI taxonomy identifier.

ADAPT outputs a list of assay options ranked by predicted performance. In addition to its objective that maximizes expected activity, ADAPT supports a simpler objective that minimizes the number of probes subject to detecting a specified fraction of diversity.

ADAPT includes a pre-trained model that predicts CRISPR-Cas13a guide detection activity, so ADAPT is directly suited to detection with Cas13a. ADAPT's output also includes amplification primers, e.g., for use with the SHERLOCK platform. The framework and software are compatible with other nucleic acid technologies given appropriate models.

For more information, see our publication that describes ADAPT and evaluates its designs experimentally.

Table of contents


Setting up ADAPT

Dependencies

ADAPT requires:

Using the thermodynamic modules of ADAPT requires:

Using ADAPT with AWS cloud features additionally requires:

Installing ADAPT with pip, as described below, will install NumPy, SciPy, and TensorFlow if they are not already installed. Installing ADAPT with pip with the thermodynamic modules, as described below, will install Primer3-py if it is not already installed as well. Installing ADAPT with pip using the AWS cloud features, as described below, will install Boto3 and Botocore if they are not already installed as well.

If using alignment features in subcommands below, ADAPT also requires a path to an executable of MAFFT.

Setting up a conda environment

Note: This section is optional, but may be useful to users who are new to Python.

It is generally useful to install and run Python packages inside of a virtual environment, especially if you have multiple versions of Python installed or use multiple packages. This can prevent problems when upgrading, conflicts between packages with different requirements, installation issues that arise from having different Python versions available, and more.

One option to manage packages and environments is to use conda. A fast way to obtain conda is to install Miniconda: you can download it here and find installation instructions for it here. For example, on Linux you would run:

wget https://repo.anaconda.com/miniconda/Miniconda3-latest-Linux-x86_64.sh
bash Miniconda3-latest-Linux-x86_64.sh

Once you have conda, you can create an environment for ADAPT with Python 3.8:

conda create -n adapt python=3.8

Then, you can activate the adapt environment:

conda activate adapt

After the environment is created and activated, you can install ADAPT as described below. You will need to activate the environment each time you use ADAPT.

Downloading and installing

ADAPT is available via Bioconda for GNU/Linux and Windows operating systems and via PyPI for all operating systems.

Before installing ADAPT via Bioconda, we suggest you follow the instructions in Setting up a conda environment to install Miniconda and activate the environment. To install via Bioconda, run the following command:

conda install -c bioconda adapt

If you want to be able to use thermodynamic modules of ADAPT, run the following instead:

conda install -c bioconda "adapt[thermo]"

If you want to be able to use AWS cloud features through ADAPT, run the following instead:

conda install -c bioconda "adapt[AWS]"

For both AWS and thermodynamics, run the following instead:

conda install -c bioconda "adapt[AWS,thermo]"

Before installing ADAPT via PyPI, we suggest you follow the instructions in either the Python documentation or Setting up a conda environment to set up and activate a virtual environment for ADAPT. To install via PyPI, run the following command:

pip install adapt-diagnostics

If you want to be able to use thermodynamic modules of ADAPT, run the following instead:

pip install "adapt-diagnostics[thermo]"

If you want to be able to use AWS cloud features through ADAPT, run the following instead:

pip install "adapt-diagnostics[AWS]"

For both AWS and thermodynamics, run the following instead:

pip install "adapt-diagnostics[AWS,thermo]"

If you wish to modify ADAPT's code, ADAPT can be installed by cloning the repository and installing the package with pip:

git clone git@github.com:broadinstitute/adapt.git
cd adapt
pip install -e .

Depending on your setup (i.e., if you do not have write permissions in the installation directory), you may need to supply --user to pip install.

If you want to be able to use thermodynamic modules of ADAPT, replace the last line with the following:

pip install -e ".[thermo]"

If you want to be able to use AWS cloud features through ADAPT, replace the last line with the following:

pip install -e ".[AWS]"

For both AWS and thermodynamics, replace the last line with the following:

pip install -e ".[AWS,thermo]"

Testing

If you clone this repository, you may want to run tests to ensure your clone is running properly. This package uses Python's unittest framework. To execute all tests, from the home directory of your ADAPT clone, run:

python -m unittest discover

Running on Docker

Note: This section is optional, but may be useful for more advanced users or developers. You will need to install Docker.

If you would like to run ADAPT using a Docker container rather than installing it, you may use one of our pre-built ADAPT images.

For ADAPT without cloud features, use the image ID quay.io/broadinstitute/adapt.

For ADAPT with cloud features, use the image ID quay.io/broadinstitute/adaptcloud.

To pull our Docker image to your computer, run:

docker pull [IMAGE-ID]

To run ADAPT on a Docker container, run:

docker run --rm [IMAGE-ID] "[COMMAND]"

To run with ADAPT memoizing to a local directory, run:

docker run --rm -v /path/to/memo/on/host:/memo [IMAGE-ID] "[COMMAND]"

To run the container interactively (opening a command line to the container), run:

docker run --rm -it [IMAGE-ID]

Using ADAPT

Overview

The main program for designing assays is design.py.

Below, we refer to guides in reference to our pre-trained model for CRISPR-Cas13a guides and our testing of ADAPT's designs with Cas13a. More generally, guides can be thought of as probes to encompass other diagnostic technologies.

design.py requires two subcommands:

design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] [INPUT-TYPE] ...

Required subcommands

SEARCH-TYPE is one of:

  • complete-targets: Search for the best assay options, each containing primer pairs and guides between them. This is usually our recommended search type. More information is in Searching for complete targets. (Example here.)
  • sliding-window: Search for guides within a sliding window of a fixed length, and output an optimal guide set for each window. This is the much simpler search type and can be helpful when getting started. (Example here.)

INPUT-TYPE is one of:

  • fasta: The input is one or more FASTA files, each containing sequences for a taxon. If more than one file is provided, the search finds taxon-specific designs meant for differential identification of the taxa. This assumes the FASTA files contain aligned sequences, unless otherwise specified (see Using custom sequences as input)
  • auto-from-args: The input is a single NCBI taxonomy ID, and related information, provided as command-line arguments. This fetches sequences for the taxon, then curates, clusters and aligns the sequences, and finally uses the generated alignment as input for design. More information is in Automatically downloading and curating data.
  • auto-from-file: The input is a file containing a list of taxonomy IDs and related information. This operates like auto-from-args, except ADAPT designs with specificity across the input taxa using a single index for evaluating specificity (as opposed to having to build it separately for each taxon). More information is in Automatically downloading and curating data.

Positional arguments

The positional arguments — which specify required input to ADAPT — depend on the INPUT-TYPE. These arguments are defined below for each INPUT-TYPE.

If INPUT-TYPE is fasta:
design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] fasta [fasta] [fasta ...] -o [out-tsv] [out-tsv ...]

where [fasta] is a path to an aligned FASTA file for a taxon and [out-tsv] specifies the basename of where to write the output TSV file (without the .tsv suffix). If there are more than one space-separated FASTA, there must be an equivalent number of output TSV files; the i'th output gives designs for the i'th input FASTA.

If INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-args:
design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] auto-from-args [taxid] [segment] [out-tsv]

where [taxid] is an NCBI taxonomy ID, [segment] is a segment label (e.g., 'S') or 'None' if unsegmented, and [out-tsv] specifies where to write the output TSV file.

If INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-file:
design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] auto-from-file [in-tsv] [out-dir]

where [in-tsv] is a path to a file specifying the input taxonomies (run design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] auto-from-file --help for details) and [out-dir] specifies a directory in which to write the outputs.

Details on all arguments

To see details on all the arguments available, run

design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] [INPUT-TYPE] --help

with the particular choice of subcommands substituted in for [SEARCH-TYPE] and [INPUT-TYPE].

Specifying the objective

ADAPT supports two objective functions, specified using the --obj argument:

  • Maximize activity (--obj maximize-activity)
  • Minimize complexity (--obj minimize-guides)

Details on each are below.

Objective: maximizing activity

Setting --obj maximize-activity tells ADAPT to design sets of guides having maximal activity, in expectation over the input taxon's genomic diversity, subject to soft and hard constraints on the size of the guide set. This is usually our recommended objective, especially with access to a predictive model. With this objective, the following arguments to design.py are relevant:

  • -sgc SOFT_GUIDE_CONSTRAINT: Soft constraint on the number of guides in a design option. There is no penalty for a number of guides ≤ SOFT_GUIDE_CONSTRAINT. Having a number of guides beyond this is penalized linearly according to PENALTY_STRENGTH. (Default: 1.)
  • -hgc HARD_GUIDE_CONSTRAINT: Hard constraint on the number of guides in a design option. The number of guides in a design option will always be ≤ HARD_GUIDE_CONSTRAINT. HARD_GUIDE_CONSTRAINT must be ≥ SOFT_GUIDE_CONSTRAINT. (Default: 5.)
  • --penalty-strength PENALTY_STRENGTH: Importance of the penalty when the number of guides exceeds the soft guide constraint. For a guide set G, the penalty in the objective is PENALTY_STRENGTH*max(0, |G| - SOFT_GUIDE_CONSTRAINT). PENALTY_STRENGTH must be ≥ 0. The value depends on the output values of the activity model and reflects a tolerance for more complexity in the assay; for the default pre-trained activity model included with ADAPT, reasonable values are in the range [0.1, 0.5]. (Default: 0.25.)
  • --maximization-algorithm [greedy|random-greedy]: Algorithm to use for solving the submodular maximization problem. 'greedy' uses the canonical greedy algorithm (Nemhauser 1978) for constrained monotone submodular maximization, which can perform well in practice but has poor worst-case guarantees because the function is not monotone (unless PENALTY_STRENGTH is 0). 'random-greedy' uses a randomized greedy algorithm (Buchbinder 2014) for constrained non-monotone submodular maximization, which has good worst-case guarantees. (Default: 'random-greedy'.)

Note that, when the objective is to maximize activity, this objective requires a predictive model of activity and thus --predict-activity-model-path or --predict-cas13a-activity-model should be specified (details in Miscellaneous key arguments). If you wish to use this objective but cannot use our pre-trained Cas13a model nor another model, see the help message for the argument --use-simple-binary-activity-prediction.

Objective: minimizing complexity

Setting --obj minimize-guides tells ADAPT to minimize the number of guides in an assay subject to constraints on coverage of the input taxon's genomic diversity. With this objective, the following arguments to design.py are relevant:

  • -gm MISMATCHES: Tolerate up to MISMATCHES mismatches when determining whether a guide detects a sequence. This argument is mainly meant to be helpful in the absence of a predictive model of activity. When using a predictive model of activity (via --predict-activity-model-path or --predict-cas13a-activity-model), this argument serves as an additional requirement for evaluating detection on top of the model; it can be effectively ignored by setting MISMATCHES to be sufficiently high. (Default: 0.)
  • --predict-activity-thres THRES_C THRES_R: Thresholds for determining whether a guide-target pair is active and highly active. THRES_C is a decision threshold on the output of the classifier (in [0,1]); predictions above this threshold are decided to be active. Higher values have higher precision and less recall. THRES_R is a decision threshold on the output of the regression model (at least 0); predictions above this threshold are decided to be highly active. Higher values limit the number of pairs determined to be highly active. To count as detecting a target sequence, a guide must be: (i) within MISMATCHES mismatches of the target sequence; (ii) classified as active; and (iii) predicted to be highly active. Using this argument requires also setting --predict-activity-model-path or --predict-cas13a-activity-model (see Miscellaneous key arguments). As noted above, MISMATCHES can be set to be sufficiently high to effectively ignore -gm. (Default: use the default thresholds included with the model.)
  • -gp COVER_FRAC: Design guides such that at least a fraction COVER_FRAC of the genomes are detected by the guides. (Default: 1.0.)
  • --cover-by-year-decay YEAR_TSV MIN_YEAR_WITH_COVG DECAY: Group input sequences by year and set a distinct COVER_FRAC for each year. See design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] [INPUT-TYPE] --help for details on this argument. Note that when INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-{file,args}, this argument does not accept YEAR_TSV.

Enforcing specificity

ADAPT can enforce strict specificity so that designs will distinguish related taxa.

For all INPUT-TYPEs, ADAPT can enforce specificity by parsing the --specific-against-* arguments. When INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-file or fasta, ADAPT will also automatically enforce specificity between taxa/FASTA files using a single specificity index.

To enforce specificity, the following arguments to design.py are important:

  • --id-m ID_M / --id-frac ID_FRAC: These parameters specify thresholds for determining specificity. Allow for up to ID_M mismatches when determining whether a guide hits a sequence in a taxon other than the one for which it is being designed, and decide that a guide hits a taxon if it hits at least ID_FRAC of the sequences in that taxon. ADAPT does not design guides that hit a taxon other than the one for which they are being designed. Higher values of ID_M and lower values of ID_FRAC correspond to more strict specificity. (Default: 4 for ID_M, 0.01 for ID_FRAC.)
  • --specific-against-fastas [fasta] [fasta ...]: Design guides to be specific against the provided sequences (in FASTA format; do not need to be aligned). That is, the guides should not hit sequences in these FASTA files, as measured by ID_M and ID_FRAC. Each [fasta] is treated as a separate taxon when ID_FRAC is applied.
  • --specific-against-taxa SPECIFIC_TSV: Design guides to be specific against the provided taxa. SPECIFIC_TSV is a path to a TSV file where each row specifies a taxonomy with two columns: (1) NCBI taxonomy ID; (2) segment label, or 'None' if unsegmented. That is, the guides should not hit sequences in these taxonomies, as measured by ID_M and ID_FRAC.

Searching for complete targets

When SEARCH-TYPE is complete-targets, ADAPT performs a branch and bound search to find a collection of assay design options. It finds the best N design options for a specified N. Each design option represents a genomic region containing primer pairs and guides between them. There is no set length for the region. The N options are intended to be a diverse (non-overlapping) selection.

Below are key arguments to design.py when SEARCH-TYPE is complete-targets:

  • --best-n-targets BEST_N_TARGETS: Only compute and output the best BEST_N_TARGETS design options, where each receives an objective value according to OBJ_FN_WEIGHTS. Note that higher values of BEST_N_TARGETS can significantly increase runtime. (Default: 10.)
  • --obj-fn-weights OBJ_FN_WEIGHTS: Coefficients to use in an objective function for each design target. See design.py complete-targets [INPUT-TYPE] --help for details.
  • -pl PRIMER_LENGTH: Design primers to be PRIMER_LENGTH nt long. (Default: 30.)
  • -pp PRIMER_COVER_FRAC: Same as -gp described above, except for the design of primers. (Default: 1.0.)
  • -pm PRIMER_MISMATCHES: Tolerate up to PRIMER_MISMATCHES mismatches when determining whether a primer hybridizes to a sequence. (Default: 0.)
  • --max-primers-at-site MAX_PRIMERS_AT_SITE: Only allow up to MAX_PRIMERS_AT_SITE primers at each primer site. If not set, there is no limit. This argument is mostly intended to improve runtime — smaller values (~5) can significantly improve runtime on especially diverse viruses — because the number of primers is already penalized in the objective function. Note that this is only an upper bound, and in practice the number will usually be less than it. (Default: not set.)

Automatically downloading and curating data

When INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-{file,args}, ADAPT will run end-to-end. It fetches and curates genomes, clusters and aligns them, and uses the generated alignment as input for design.

Below are key arguments to design.py when INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-file or auto-from-args:

  • --mafft-path MAFFT_PATH: Use the MAFFT executable at MAFFT_PATH for generating alignments.
  • --prep-memoize-dir PREP_MEMOIZE_DIR: Memoize alignments and statistics on these alignments to the directory specified by PREP_MEMOIZE_DIR. If repeatedly re-running on the same taxonomies, using this argument can significantly improve runtime across runs. ADAPT can save the memoized information to an AWS S3 bucket by using the syntax s3://BUCKET/PATH, though this requires the AWS cloud installation mentioned in Downloading and installing and setting access key information. Access key information can either be set using AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY (details below) or by installing and configuring AWS CLI. If not set (default), do not memoize information across runs.
  • --prep-influenza: If set, use NCBI's influenza database for fetching data. This should be specified if design is for influenza A/B/C viruses.
  • --sample-seqs SAMPLE_SEQS: Randomly sample SAMPLE_SEQS accessions with replacement from each taxonomy, and move forward with the design using this sample. This can be useful for measuring some properties of the design, or for faster runtime when debugging.
  • --cluster-threshold CLUSTER_THRESHOLD: Use CLUSTER_THRESHOLD as the maximum inter-cluster distance when clustering sequences prior to alignment. The distance is average nucleotide dissimilarity (1-ANI); higher values result in fewer clusters. (Default: 0.2.)
  • --use-accessions USE_ACCESSIONS: Use the specified NCBI GenBank accessions, in a file at the path USE_ACCESSIONS, for generating input. ADAPT uses these accessions instead of fetching neighbors from NCBI, but it will still download the sequences for these accessions. See design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] auto-from-{file,args} --help for details on the format of the file.

When using AWS S3 to memoize information across runs (--prep-memoize-dir), the following arguments are also important:

  • --aws-access-key-id AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID / --aws-secret-access-key AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY: Use AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY to login to AWS cloud services. Both AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY are needed to login. These arguments are only necessary if saving the memoized data to an S3 bucket using PREP_MEMOIZE_DIR and AWS CLI has not been installed and configured. If AWS CLI has been installed and configured and these arguments are passed, they will override the AWS CLI configuration.

Using custom sequences as input

When INPUT-TYPE is fasta, ADAPT will run on only the sequences specified in the FASTA, without curation.

Below are key arguments to design.py when INPUT-TYPE is fasta:

  • --unaligned: Specify if any of the input FASTA files are unaligned. This will align them using MAFFT.
  • --mafft-path MAFFT_PATH: Use the MAFFT executable at MAFFT_PATH for generating alignments. Required if --unaligned is specified.
  • --cluster-threshold CLUSTER_THRESHOLD: Use CLUSTER_THRESHOLD as the maximum inter-cluster distance when clustering sequences prior to alignment. The distance is average nucleotide dissimilarity (1-ANI); higher values result in fewer clusters. (Default: 0.2.)

Weighting sequences

By default, ADAPT bases the "coverage" across a virus's variation on the percent of genome sequences predicted to be detected. Likewise, when maximizing expected (or average) activity across variation, it treats the different genome sequences uniformly. While this works well if the genome sequences represent a random sample of the targeted viral population, that is often not the case owing to sampling biases. We include sequence weighting in ADAPT, allowing the relative importance of sequences to be set.

To manually set sequence weights when INPUT-TYPE is fasta, use --weight-sequences WEIGHT_SEQUENCES. WEIGHT_SEQUENCES should be a file path to a TSV with two columns: (1) a sequence name that matches to one in the input FASTA; (2) the weight of that sequence. If more than one input FASTA is given, the same number of input TSVs must be given. Each input TSV corresponds to an input FASTA. The input weights will be normalized to sum to 1 and used when calculating objective scores and summary statistics. Any sequence not listed in the input TSV(s) will be assigned, by default, a pre-normalized weight of 1.

When ADAPT designs an assay across multiple subtaxa, each with very different levels of sampling, ADAPT may design deficient assays that only detect a highly overrepresented subtaxon and no other subtaxa. While the number of sequences in the database often indicates a subtaxon's relative importance, it should typically not cause other subtaxa to be ignored in practice.

As a simple correction for this problem, ADAPT includes the argument --weight-by-log-size-of-subtaxa SUBTAXA for when the INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-args or auto-from-file. SUBTAXA is a taxonomic rank ('genus', 'subgenus', 'species', or 'subspecies') lower than the rank of the taxon being designed for. It works as follows:

  1. Each input sequence is associated with one SUBTAXA group.
  2. Each SUBTAXA group is assigned a weight equal to the log of the number of sequences in that group plus 1.
  3. Each sequence is assigned a weight equal to the weight of its SUBTAXA group divided by the number of sequences in its SUBTAXA group.
  4. Weights are normalized across all sequences to sum to 1.

Miscellaneous key arguments

In addition to the arguments above, there are others that are often important when running design.py:

  • --predict-cas13a-activity-model: Use ADAPT's pre-trained Cas13 model to predict activity of guide-target pairs. Classification and regression model files can be viewed in models/. (Default: not set, which does not use predicted activity during design.)
  • --predict-activity-model-path MODEL_C MODEL_R: Models that predict activity of guide-target pairs. MODEL_C gives a classification model that predicts whether a guide-target pair is active, and MODEL_R gives a regression model that predicts a measure of activity on active pairs. This does not need to be set if --predict-cas13a-activity-model is specified, but it is useful for custom models. Each argument is a path to a serialized model in TensorFlow's SavedModel format. With --obj maximize-activity, the models are essential because they inform ADAPT of the measurements it aims to maximize. With --obj minimize-guides, the models constrain the design such that a guide must be highly active to detect a sequence (specified by --predict-activity-thres). (Default: not set, which does not use predicted activity during design.)
  • -gl GUIDE_LENGTH: Design guides to be GUIDE_LENGTH nt long. (Default: 28.)
  • --do-not-allow-gu-pairing: If set, do not count G-U (wobble) base pairs between guide and target sequence as matching. By default, they count as matches. This applies when -gm is used with --obj minimize-guides and when enforcing specificity.
  • --require-flanking5 REQUIRE_FLANKING5 / --require-flanking3 REQUIRE_FLANKING3: Require the given sequence on the 5' (REQUIRE_FLANKING5) and/or 3' (REQUIRE_FLANKING3) side of the protospacer for each designed guide. This tolerates ambiguity in the sequence (e.g., 'H' requires 'A', 'C', or 'T'). This can enforce a desired protospacer flanking site (PFS) nucleotide; it can also accommodate multiple nucleotides (motif). Note that this is the 5'/3' end in the target sequence (not the spacer sequence). When a predictive model of activity is given, this argument is not needed; it can still be specified, however, as an additional requirement on top of how the model evaluates activity.

Output

The files output by ADAPT are TSV files, but vary in format depending on SEARCH-TYPE and INPUT-TYPE. There is a separate TSV file for each taxon.

For all cases, run design.py [SEARCH-TYPE] [INPUT-TYPE] --help to see details on the output format and on how to specify paths to the output TSV files.

Complete targets

When SEARCH-TYPE is complete-targets, each row gives an assay design option; there are BEST_N_TARGETS of them. Each design option corresponds to a genomic region (amplicon). The columns give the primer and guide sequences as well as additional information about them. There are about 20 columns; some key ones are:

  • objective-value: Objective value based on OBJ_FN_WEIGHTS.
  • target-start / target-end: Start (inclusive) and end (exclusive) positions of the genomic region in the alignment generated by ADAPT.
  • {left,right}-primer-target-sequences: Sequences of 5' and 3' primers, from the targets (see Complementarity). Within each of the two columns (amplicon endpoints), if there are multiple sequences they are separated by spaces.
  • total-frac-bound-by-guides: Fraction of all input sequences predicted to be detected by the guide set.
  • guide-set-expected-activity: Predicted activity of the guide set in detecting the input sequences, in expectation over the input sequences. (nan if no predictor is set.)
  • guide-set-median-activity / guide-set-5th-pctile-activity: Median and 5th percentile of predicted activity of the guide set over the input sequences. (nan if no predictor is set.)
  • guide-expected-activities: Predicted activity of each separate guide in detecting the input sequences, in expectation over the input sequences. They are separated by spaces; if there is only 1 guide, this is equivalent to guide-set-expected-activity. (nan if no predictor is set.)
  • guide-target-sequences: Sequences of guides, from the targets (see Complementarity!). If there are multiple, they are separated by spaces.
  • guide-target-sequence-positions: Positions of the guides in the alignment, in the same order as they are reported; a guide may come from >1 position, so positions are reported in set notation (e.g., {100}).

The rows in the output are sorted by the objective value: better options are on top. Smaller values are better with --obj minimize-guides and larger values are better with --obj maximize-activity.

When INPUT-TYPE is auto-from-file or auto-from-args and ADAPT generates more than one cluster of input sequences, there is a separate TSV file for each cluster; the filenames end in .0, .1, etc.

Sliding window

When SEARCH-TYPE is sliding-window, each row gives a window in the alignment and the columns give information about the guides designed for that window. The columns are:

  • window-start / window-end: Start (inclusive) and end (exclusive) positions in the alignment.
  • count: Number of guide sequences.
  • score: Statistic between 0 and 1 that describes the redundancy of the guides in detecting the input sequences (higher is better). This is meant to break ties between windows with the same number of guide sequences, and is not intended to be compared between windows with different numbers of guides.
  • total-frac-bound: Total fraction of all input sequences that are detected by a guide. Note that if --cover-by-year-decay is provided, this might be less than COVER_FRAC.
  • target-sequences: Sequences of guides, from the targets (see Complementarity!). If there are multiple, they are separated by spaces.
  • target-sequence-positions: Positions of the guides in the alignment, in the same order as they are reported; a guide may come from >1 position, so positions are reported in set notation (e.g., {100}).

By default, when SEARCH-TYPE is sliding-window, the rows in the output are sorted by the position of the window. With the --sort argument to design.py, ADAPT sorts the rows so that the "best" choices of windows are on top. It sorts by count (ascending) followed by score (descending), so that windows with the fewest guides and highest score are on top.

Complementarity

Note that output sequences are all in the same sense as the input (target) sequences. Synthesized guide sequences should be reverse complements of the output sequences! Likewise, synthesized primer sequences should account for this.

Examples

Basic: designing within sliding window

This is the most simple example. It does not download genomes, search for genomic regions to target, or use a predictive model of activity; for these features, see the next example.

The repository includes an alignment of Lassa virus sequences (S segment) from Sierra Leone in examples/SLE_S.aligned.fasta. If you have installed ADAPT via Bioconda or PyPI, you'll need to download the alignment from here. Run:

design.py sliding-window fasta FASTA_PATH -o probes -w 200 -gl 28 -gm 1 -gp 0.95

From this alignment, ADAPT scans each 200 nt window (-w 200) to find the smallest collection of probes that:

  • are all within the window
  • are 28 nt long (-gl 28)
  • detect 95% of all input sequences (-gp 0.95), tolerating up to 1 mismatch (-gm 1) between a probe and target

ADAPT outputs a file, probes.tsv, that contains the probe sequences for each window. See Output above for a description of this file.

Designing end-to-end with predictive model

ADAPT can automatically download and curate sequences for its design, and search efficiently over possible genomic regions to find primers/amplicons as well as Cas13a guides. It identifies Cas13a guides using a pre-trained predictive model of activity.

Run:

design.py complete-targets auto-from-args 64320 None guides -gl 28 --obj maximize-activity -pl 30 -pm 1 -pp 0.95 --predict-cas13a-activity-model --best-n-targets 5 --mafft-path MAFFT_PATH --sample-seqs 50 --verbose

This downloads and designs assays to detect genomes of Zika virus (NCBI taxonomy ID 64320). You must fill in MAFFT_PATH with an executable of MAFFT.

ADAPT designs primers and Cas13a guides within the amplicons, such that:

  • guides have maximal predicted detection activity, in expectation over Zika's genomic diversity (--obj maximize-activity)
  • guides are 28 nt long (-gl 28) and primers are 30 nt long (-pl 30)
  • primers capture 95% of sequence diversity (-pp 0.95), tolerating up to 1 mismatch for each (-pm 1)

ADAPT outputs a file, guides.0.tsv, that contains the best 5 design options (--best-n-targets 5) as measured by ADAPT's default objective function. See Output above for a description of this file.

This example randomly selects 50 sequences (--sample-seqs 50) prior to design to speed the runtime in this example; the command should take about 20 minutes to run in full. Using --verbose provides detailed output and is usually recommended, but the output can be extensive.

Note that this example does not enforce specificity.

To find minimal guide sets, use --obj minimize-guides instead and set -gm and -gp. With this objective, Cas13a guides are determined to detect a sequence if they (i) satisfy the number of mismatches specified with -gm and (ii) are predicted by the model to be highly active in detecting the sequence; -gm can be sufficiently high to rely entirely on the predictive model. The output guides will detect a desired fraction of all genomes, as specified by -gp.

Support and contributing

Questions

If you have questions about ADAPT, please create an issue.

Contributing

We welcome contributions to ADAPT. This can be in the form of an issue or pull request.

Citation

ADAPT was started by Hayden Metsky, and is developed by Priya Pillai and Hayden.

If you find ADAPT useful to your work, please cite our paper as:

  • Metsky HC et al. Designing sensitive viral diagnostics with machine learning. Nature Biotechnology (2022). doi:10.1038/s41587-022-01213-5.

License

ADAPT is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.

Related repositories

There are other repositories on GitHub associated with ADAPT:

  • adapt-seq-design: Predictive modeling library, datasets, training, and evaluation (applied to CRISPR-Cas13a).
  • adapt-analysis: Analysis of ADAPT's designs and benchmarking its computational performance, as well as miscellaneous analyses for the ADAPT paper.
  • adapt-designs: Designs output by ADAPT, including all experimentally tested designs.
  • adapt-pipes: Workflows for running ADAPT on the cloud, tailored for AWS.