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Releases: milaboratory/mixcr

MiXCR v4.2.0

26 Jan 20:06
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Built-in support for new protocols

Sample barcodes

Complete support of sample barcodes that may be picked up from all possible sources:

  • from names of input files;
  • from index I1/I2 FASTQ files;
  • from sequence header lines;
  • from inside the tag pattern.

Now one can analyze multiple patient samples at once. Along with a powerful file name expansion functionality, one can process any kind of sequencing protocol with any custom combination of sample, cell and UMI barcoding.

Processing of multiple samples can be done in two principal modes in respect to sample barcodes: (1) data can be split by samples right on the align stage and processed separately, or (2) all samples can be processed as a single set of sequences and separated only on the very last exportClones step, both approaches have their pros and cons allowing to use the best strategy given the experimental setup and study goals.

New robust filters for single cell and molecular barcoded data

For 10x Genomics and other fragmented protocols, a new powerful k-mer based filtering algorithm is now used to eliminate cross-cell contamination coming from plasmatic cells.

For UMI filtering, a new algorithm from the paper by J. Barron (2020) allows for better automated histogram thresholding in barcoded data filtering.

List of all changes

Sample barcodes

  • support for more than two fastq files as input (I1 and I2 reads support)
  • multiple possible sources of data for sample resolution:
    • sequences extracted with tag pattern (including those coming from I1 and I2 reads)
    • samples can be based on specific pattern variant (with multi-variant patterns, separated by ||, allows to easily adopt MiGEC-style-like sample files)
    • parts of file names (extracted using file name expansion mechanism)
  • flexible sample table matching criteria
    • matching multiple tags
    • matching variant id from multi-variant tag patterns
  • special --sample-table mixin option allowing for flexible sample table definition in a tab-delimited table form
  • special --infer-sample-table mixin option to infer sample table for sample tags from file name expansion
  • special generic presets for multiplexed data analysis scenarios (e.g. generic-tcr-amplicon-separate-samples-umi)
  • align command now optionally allows to split output alignments by sample into separate vdjca files
  • exportClones command now supports splitting the output into multiple files by sample
  • analyze command supports new splitting behaviour of the align command, separately running all the analysis steps for all the output files (if splitting is enabled)

Filters and error correction

  • preset for 10X VDJ BCR enhanced with k-mer-based filter to eliminate rare cross-cell contamination from plasmatic cells
  • new advanced thresholding algorithm from the paper by J. Barron (2020) allows for better automated histogram thresholding in barcoded data filtering
  • rework of clustering step aimed at PCR / reverse-transcription error correction in assemble, now it correctly handles any possible tag combination (sample, cell or molecule)
  • new feature to add histogram preprocessing steps in automated thresholding

Quality trimming

  • turn on default quality trimming (trimmingQualityThreshold changed from 0 to 10), this setting showed better performance in many real world use-cases

Reference library

  • reference V/D/J/C gene library upgrade to repseqio v2.1 (see changelog)

New commands

  • added command exportReportsTable that prints file in tabular format with report data from commands that were run


  • optimized aligner parameters for long-read data
  • fixed system temp folder detection behaviour, now mixcr respects TMPDIR environment variable
  • rework of preset-mixin logic, now external presets (like those starting from local:...) are packed into the output *.vdjca file on align step, the same applies to all externally linked information, like tag whitelists and sample lists. This behaviour facilitates better analysis reproducibility and more transparent parameter logistics.
  • new mixin options to adjust tag refinement whitelists with analyze: --set-whitelist and --reset-whitelist
  • removed refineTagsAndSort options -w and --whitelist; corresponding deprecation error message printed if used
  • new grouping feature for exportClones, allowing to normalize values for -readFraction and -uniqueTagFraction ... columns to totals for certain compartments instead of normalizing to the whole dataset. This feature allows to output e.g. fractions of reads inside the cell.
  • new mixin options --add-export-clone-table-splitting, --reset-export-clone-table-splitting, --add-export-clone-grouping and --reset-export-clone-grouping
  • improved sensitivity of findAlleles command
  • add tags info in exportAlignmentsPretty and exportClonesPretty
  • add --chains filter for exportShmTrees, exportShmTreesWithNodes, exportShmTreesNewick and exportPlots shmTrees commands
  • fixed old bug #353, now all aligners favor leftmost J gene in situations where multiple genes can ve found in the sequence (i.e. mis-spliced mRNA)
  • fixes exception in align happening for not-parsed sequences with writeFailedAlignments=true
  • new filter and parameter added in assemblePartial; parameter name is minimalNOverlapShare, it controls minimal relative part of N region that must be covered by the overlap to conclude that two reads are from the same V(D)J rearrangement
  • default paired-end overlap parameters changed to slightly more relaxed version
  • better criteria for alignments to be accepted for the assemblePartial procedure
  • fixed NPE in assemblePartial executed for the data without C-gene alignment settings
  • fixed rare exception in exportAirr command
  • by default exports show messages like 'region_not_covered' for data that can't be extracted (requesting -nFeature for not covered region or not existed tag). Option --not-covered-as-empty will save previous behaviour
  • info about genes with enough data to find allele was added into report of findAlleles and description of alleles
  • fixed error message appearing when analysis parameter already assigned to null is overridden by null using the -O... option
  • fixed wrong reporting of number of trimmed letters from the right side of R1 and R2 sequence
  • fixed error message about repeated generic mixin overrides
  • fixed error of exportClones with some arguments
  • fixes for report indention artefacts
  • fixed bug when chains filter set to ALL in exportAlignments was preventing not-aligned records to be exported
  • fixed runtime exception in assemble rising in analysis of data with CELL barcodes but without UMIs, with turned off consensus assembly
  • fixed bug leading to incorrect mixin option ordering during it's application to parameters bundle
  • minor change to the contigAssembly filtering parametrization
  • added mix-in --export-productive-clones-only
  • warning message about automatically set -Xmx.. JVM option in mixcr script
  • safer automatic value for -Xms..
  • fix: added species flag to 10x, nanopore and smart-seq2 presets

MiXCR v4.1.2

28 Nov 09:34
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Major changes

  • Command findShmTrees now can build trees from inputs with different tags
  • Added --impute-germline-on-export and --dont-impute-germline-on-export to exportAlignments and exportClones

Minor improvements

  • Now, instead of specifying separately multiple tags of the same type (i.e. CELL1+CELL2+CELL3) in filters, one can use
    convenient aliases (like allTags:Cell, allTags:Molecule). This also facilitates creation of a more generic base
    presets implementing common single-cell and UMI filtering strategies.
  • Several command line interface improvements
  • Migration from <tag_name> to <tag_type> semantics in export columns and --split-by-tag options


  • fixes bug with saveOriginalReads=true on align leading to errors down the pipeline
  • analyze now correctly terminates on first error
  • correct progress reporting in align with multiple input files provided by file name expansion mechanism
  • fix --only-observed behaviour in exportShmTreesWithNodes
  • fix missing tile in heatmap
  • fix some cases of usage of -O...


  • Fixed issue with mouse presets from MiLaboratories
  • Fixed presets with whitelists
  • Fixed missing material type and species in several presets
  • Added template switch region trimming for RACE protocols
  • Added presets for
    • Thermo Fisher Oncomine kits
    • ParseBio single-cell protocols
    • iRepertoire kits
    • Preset for protocol described in Vergani et al. (2017)
    • Cellecta AIR kit

MiXCR v4.1.1

11 Nov 14:55
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With this release we continue extending the set of supported single-cell protocols by adding new ready-to-use presets to our collection. Additionally to newly supported protocols and features required for their reliable processing this release comes with many usability optimizations and stability improvements. See details below:

Major changes

  • presets for analysis of all types of BD Rhapsody data (see docs for the list of supported kits)
  • analysis of data produced by single-cell protocol described in Han et al. (2014) (see docs)
  • special presets for exom data analysis exom-cdr3 and exom-full-length
  • initial support for overlap-extension-based chain pairing protocols
  • possibility to export groups of similar columns specifying single option (like -allAAFeatures <from_reference_point> <to_reference_point>)
  • user-friendly alternative for -uniqueTagsCount - -allUniqueTagsCount; allows to export counts of unique tag combinations (useful for protocols with multiple CELL and UMI barcodes)
  • new "by sequence" filters for all somatic hypermutation trees (SHMT) exports
  • new weighted auto-threshold selection and complementary metric histogram aggregation modes (i.e. y-axis on reads-pre-UMI plots now can show number of reads instead of number of UMIs)
  • detected allelic variants are now can also be exported in fasta format right from the findAlleles command
  • better algorithm for seed sequence selection in consensus assembly routine in assemble; increases productive consensus count for cases with multi-variant tag groups (i.e. birthday paradoxes in UMI data or single-cell data analysis without UMIs)

Minor changes:

  • minor adjustments for existing presets
  • many CLI and parameter validation fixes, more human-readable error messages, better protection from common input errors
  • support for preset-embedded tag whitelists for protocols with small number of barcode variants
  • options --use-local-temp, --threads, --not-aligned-R1(R2) and --not-parsed-R1(R2) are now available in analyze, additionally to individual step commands
  • bugfix for imputation in export for compound gene features
  • other minor fixes and enhancements

MiXCR v4.1

31 Oct 07:15
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MiXCR 4.1 features two major functional upgrades:

  • essential fixes and improvements for the single-cell and molecular-barcoded data processing algorithms
  • new powerful set of tools for allelic variant discovery and analysis of antibody hypermutation trees

Along with these features, release brings radically simplified user interface, which reduces all the complexities of repertoire analysis pipeline down to a single command, where only one option, the “preset”, has to be specified. MiXCR 4.1 is shipped with many of specifically optimized presets, for most of the repertoire analysis cases. Upgrades, introduced in this release, also significantly increases transparency of analysis pipeline, by providing a diverse set of new graphical QC reports and adding dozens of new metrics to textual and JSON reports. Additionally, this release incorporates tens of important fixes, performance optimizations and stability improvements.

Documentation portal

Along with the software release, we present a new documentation portal. It features a clean content organization, informative illustrations, deep guides on many real-world repertoire analysis scenarios and detailed descriptions for each of the MiXCR commands and analysis presets.

Welcome to

Improvements for single-cell and molecular-barcoded data analysis

Based on our deep research of a large number of single-cell and molecular barcoded datasets, generated with dozens of protocols and instruments in a wide set of laboratory setups, we developed several important upgrades to the algorithms engaged in analysis of tagged data. With all the improvements and fixes, MiXCR 4.1 produces clean and reliable results for the majority of popular wet-lab protocols, being robust to a wide range of protocol noises, cross contamination mechanisms and artifacts. The set of tools offered by MiXCR 4.1 allows it to be applied for virtually any data of such type.

Featured fixes and upgrades:

  • new high-performance aligner settings optimized for single-cell T- and B-cell receptor datasets
  • important fixes for assemblePartial algorithm for tagged data
  • redesign of tag correction algorithm to increase performance and decrease memory consumption
  • whitelist-based barcode correction in refineTagsAndSort step (f/k/a correctAndSortTags)
  • comprehensive options for data filtering, applied right after barcode sequence correction (in refineTagsAndSort)
  • algorithms for automated threshold selection in refineTagsAndSort filters
  • multiple improvements for consensus assembly algorithm (which pre-assembles consensuses from tagged groups in assemble); increased performance and stability in respect to data artifacts
  • automated inference of minimal number of reads in consensus
  • de-contamination filters in assemble to fight cross-cell contaminations
  • rework of assembleContigs algorithm to increase robustness in respect to data artifacts
  • many new QC metrics from tag pattern parsing, sequence correction, consensus to contig assembly algorithms

SHM trees & Allele discovery

MiXCR 4.1 introduces two new comprehensive tools for analysis of hypermutation trees of antibodies. The first is the de-novo discovery of V and J gene alleles provided by the findAlleles command. And the second is the SHM trees reconstruction tool provided by the findShmTrees command. These two features go hand in hand and help each other to accurately separate allelic variants from somatic mutations and reconstruct mutation tree topology, given the set of samples for the same individual. We implemented new original algorithms for these tasks, both are based on sophisticated analysis of alignments with germline segments, rather than naive reconstruction of mutation histories regardless of the sequence structure, as implemented in other tools. This functionality is accompanied by a set of commands to export SHM trees in several formats: exportShmTrees, exportShmTreesWithNodes, exportShmTreesNewick and exportPlots shmTrees.

  • For the correct lineage tree reconstruction, it is critical to first have accurate V- and J-gene allele information for a particular donor or mouse strain. Hence, it is highly recommended to first run findAlleles and re-align all clonotype sequences (option -o) to a newly generated individual reference V- and J-gene library.
  • findAlleles utilizes an allele inference algorithm which can use even somatically hypermutated clonal sequences as input data.
  • Both findAlleles and findShmTrees commands support multiple .clns files input - so the alleles can be inferred and lineage trees can be reconstructed using all available datasets. Note that it only makes sense to use datasets derived from an individual donor (or homogenic mouse strain) per command launch.
  • All commands produce extensive reports and auxiliary tables providing additional transparency in the algorithm performance

Presets and refreshed CLI

From now on, most users can run the whole pipeline, specifying just a single option, the preset name, in addition to the input and output file names.

MiXCR provides tens of fine tuned sets of parameters (presets) to extract repertoires from the data generated with most of the commercially available kits and instruments as well as with the well established open protocols, including single-cell, bulk repertoire sequencing with or without molecular-barcodes and non-enriched data like RNA-Seq.

For example you can run the whole analysis (from fastq to clonesets) for the dataset generated with MiLaboratories Human TCR RNA Multiplex kit using the following command:

mixcr analyze milab-human-tcr-rna-multiplex-cdr3 input_file_R1.fastq.gz input_file_R2.fastq.gz results_prefix

This will produce a full set of intermediate files, with tsv clonesets and extensive report files both in txt and json formats.

The preset functionality is accompanied by the set of special high level command line options, we call mixins, that help to adapt the selected preset if experimental setup requires non-standard analysis (though it is not required in most cases).

The following improvements were made to MiXCR’s CLI:

  • analyze command was completely redesigned (see example above)
  • mixin options were introduced; can be specified on analyze, align or, for some mixins, on other pipeline stages
  • new refreshed and polished CLI help
  • new safer and more reliable file name expansion mechanism, {{a}} and {{R}} pattern elements added; now one can specify ... input_file_{{R}}.fastq.gz output.vdjca instead of ... input_file_R1.fastq.gz input_file_R2.fastq.gz output.vdjca
  • all reports and analysis parameters are now embedded into the output files and can be easily retrieved afterwords

Graphical QC plots

MiXCR 4.1 introduces a new exportQc command to visualize different quality control metrics including alignment performance, chain usage, reads coverage, barcode abundance distribution, automatically selected correction threshold etc.

Many other fixes & improvements

  • fix a bunch of visualization issues #743, #747, #748, #749, #750, #751
  • added bar plot gene usage plots
  • added gene family usage plots
  • better naming for diversity and overlap measures
  • rename biophysics to cdr3metrics in postanalysis
  • support of svg / png and other graphical formats in exportPlots
  • allow samples with different data types (umi/no-umi) been used in overlapScatter when
    implement cutting contig results by assemble region
  • introduce --pairwise-comparisons instead of --hide-pairwise-comparison in exportPlots diversity / biophysics
  • fixed wrong sign for hydrophobicity metric in downstream analysis
  • fixed incorrect behaviour of clonotype splitting by V, J and C genes
  • multiple bug fixes for post analysis downsampling
  • added --show-significance option in exportPlots diversity / biophysics
  • fix NPE in overlap browser when some clone do not contain gene feature specified in overlap criteria
  • splitting of clones on export; there is no need to run exportClones command multiple times (only “by chain” option is currently implemented)
  • new export fields for single-cell and molecular barcodes (i.e. -tagFraction)
  • fixes for --not-aligned-R1/2 option for tagged analysis
  • incomplete V gene feature correction for AIRR export, if vFeatureToAlign was adjusted to exclude primer sequence from alignment
  • options to export reads that were not parsed according to the tag pattern (--not-parsed-R1/2)
  • start from BAM file
  • CLI and several other parts are (re)implemented in Kotlin
  • temporary files are now by default are placed to the system temp folder; option to move them in the folder of output files --use-system-temp
  • fixed bug in assemble report caused by pre-clone assembler which did not reported failed to extract target
  • fixed NPE in assembleContigs with disjoint features (#727)
  • better ChainsUsage report (#732)
  • factor-by option for overlap downstream analysis
  • allow lowercase...

MiXCR v4.0

10 Jun 01:22
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Comprehensive support for Single-Cell and Molecular barcodes

  • flexible and fast pattern matching engine to parse barcodes from the data; allows to fit the pipeline to any
    commercially available or in-house wet lab protocol with molecular or/and cell barcodes
  • error correction in barcode sequences
  • two cooperating UMI and/or Cell-barcode-based steps for clonal sequence reconstruction:
    • consensus assembly (i.e. for well-framed amplicon sequencing)
    • contig assembly (i.e. for 10x-like enzymatically fragmented data)
  • tag information preserved on all analysis steps and extensive QC reports are generated throughout the pipeline,
    providing maximal visibility into analysis performance and giving a powerful tool for wet lab issues investigation

See the following usage examples:

Downstream analysis

Set of powerful downstream analysis features with the ability to export postanalysis results in tabular format and vector plots with various statistical comparisons.

  • Ability to group samples by metadata values and compare repertoire features between groups
  • Comprehensive repertoire normalization and filtering
  • Statistical significance tests with proper p-value adjustment
  • Repertoire overlap analysis
  • Vector plots output (.svg / .pdf)
  • Tabular outputs

See the following usage guide:

Overlap browser

Added command exportClonesOverlap allowing to efficiently build and export overlap of the arbitrary number of clonesets.

Major rework of contig assembly algorithm

  • significantly increased accuracy and stability
  • works with or without molecular or cell barcodes
  • can be applied to (sc)RNASeq data with reasonable IG/TCR coverage to reconstruct long sequence outside the CDR3

Export in AIRR format

  • multiple options to export alignment or clonal data in AIRR format
  • provides better compatibility with 3rd-party tools from AIRR community (see also RepSeq.IO feature for generation of fasta libraries with IMGT-like gaps from repseqio formatted references)

See here for usage example.

Other improvements and changes

  • new built-in reference library with new species and newest genome based library for human
    (see changelog here)
  • complete rewrite of IO for intermediate files (much faster IO with parallel serialization and deserialization,
    more compact files - each block is compressed with LZ4, versatile random access features provides additional speedup)
  • faster hash-based external (file-based) sorting algorithm for alignment and other regrouping tasks in UMI/Single-cell
    related tasks and operations requiring alignment to clone mapping
  • input sequence quality-score based trimming enabled by default
  • support for human-readable alignments export from *.clna files by clone index
  • all steps are cleaned-up to be completely pure, i.e. for the same input, output will always be byte-to-byte equal
    (no analysis date or other variable pieces of information leaks to the output files)
  • more stable amino acid and combined amino acid plus nucleotide mutations export
  • slight default analysis parameter optimization

Obtaining a license file

MiXCR requires a license file to run. Academic users with no commercial funding can quickly obtain a MiXCR license for free at We are committed to support academic community and provide our software free of charge for scientists doing non-profit research. Commercial trial license can be requested at or by email to

For details see:

MiXCR v3.0.13

15 Apr 15:35
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  • Fixed bug with wrong V gene selection in assembleContigs.
  • analyze doesn't use .clna when contig assembly is not specified
  • Fixed AlignConfiguration to account for trimming
  • Added --threads option to analyze
  • Added --library option to analyze
  • Bug fix in partial assembler

MiXCR is free for non-profit use only (see LICENSE for details)!
For commercial use please contact

MiXCR v3.0.12

20 Nov 13:40
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  • Built-in reference library upgraded to v1.6 (see changes)
  • Additional mixcr script optimizations for docker

MiXCR is free for non-profit use only (see LICENSE for details)!
For commercial use please contact

MiXCR v3.0.11

24 Oct 16:35
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  • Fixes exception in assemble for multi-assembling-feature cases with zero length sequences
  • Fixes empty FR3 imputed sequence in cases with zero assembled nucleotides on the 5' side of CDR3
  • MiXCR execution script optimized for Docker (Java 11 is recommended for running MiXCR in container environment)
  • Other fixes for MiXCR script

Starting from this release we will maintain Official MiXCR Docker Image.

MiXCR is free for non-profit use only (see LICENSE for details)!
For commercial use please contact

MiXCR v3.0.10

11 Sep 21:42
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  • Fixes NPE in very rare cases with incompatible V gene selection for assembleContigs in case of partially annotated gene libraries
  • Several fixes for sequence imputation algorithm in exportAlignments / exportClones

MiXCR is free for non-profit use only (see LICENSE for details)!
For commercial use please contact

MiXCR v3.0.9

06 Aug 18:26
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  • Fixed wrong behaviour with score-based pre-filtering in split-by-V/J=true cases
  • Chain usage statistics added to align and assemble JSON reports
  • Fixed rare IndexOutOfBounds exception in -nFeatureImputed ...
  • Added shortcut for --json-report = -j
  • Sanity check for common mistake in analyze parameters

MiXCR is free for non-profit use only (see LICENSE for details)!
For commercial use please contact