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dbVar human non-redundant structural variants (nr SVs)

Work in progress and subject to change

Last updated: 08/24/18

Latest nr SV file downloads:


Tutorial on how to use dbVar nr SV files:



NCBI's database of Human Genomic Structural Variation is dbVar.


An Overview of Structural Variation can be found here:


Description of NR SV data files:

  • Sets of "non-redundant structural variations" (NR SVs) derived from dbVar are available via FTP as tab delimited files by assembly, GRCh37 & GRCh38, and type of variant.

  • Non-redundant refers to variant coordinates, i.e. chr, outermost start, and outermost stop. Please note: the non-redundant coordinates are based strictly on exact overlap of coordinates, not on partial overlaps.

  • Other features of NR SV files:

    • variant calls are from germline samples only (no somatic)
    • placements are "BestAvailable" on the assembly (guarantees no duplicate placements for a variant)
    • placements are on finished chromosomes only (not on NT_ or NW_ contigs)
    • placements are 1-based in the .tsv files
    • placements are zero-based start and 1-based stop in .bed and .bedpe files
    • insertion_length is set to sequence length if the sequence was submitted to dbVar without a specific insertion_length
    • insertions submitted to dbVar without insertion_length or submitted sequence are not included in the NR files
  • Other files based on NR SV files:

    • NR SV files annotated with overlapping ACMG genes
    • NR SV files in .bed format
    • NR SV files in .bedpe format

Variant types

Variant types are grouped into three "aggregation types".

  • deletions
  • duplications
  • insertions

The variant types in each of the three "aggregation types" are:

  • "deletions" include:

    • alu_deletion
    • copy_number_loss
    • deletion
    • herv_deletion
    • line1_deletion
    • sva_deletion
  • "duplications" include:

    • copy_number_gain
    • copy_number_variation
    • duplication
    • tandem_duplication
  • "insertions" include:

    • alu_insertion
    • insertion
    • line1_insertion
    • mobile_element_insertion
    • novel_sequence_insertion
    • sva_insertion

Summary Statistics

Number of input SV by assembly as of Jul 11, 2018:

variant type GRCh37 GRCh38 variant type GRCh37 GRCh38 variant type GRCh37 GRCh38
alu_deletion 1700117 1687974 copy_number_gain 1247971 1218617 alu_insertion 2266165 2259587
copy_number_loss 2409624 2401043 copy_number_variation 1164548 1109076 insertion 1232562 1238680
deletion 13120032 13017650 duplication 1926815 1918241 line1_insertion 325100 324990
herv_deletion 197 197 tandem_duplication 11509 11459 mobile_element_insertion 89461 89446
line1_deletion 82103 82103 novel_sequence_insertion 4071 4046
sva_deletion 14254 14254 sva_insertion 127901 127847

NR Coordinates by assembly as of Jul 11, 2018:

GRCh38 nr files NR coordinates GRCh37 nr files NR coordinates
GRCh38.nr_deletions.tsv 2210892 GRCh37.nr_deletions.tsv 2221656
GRCh38.nr_duplications.tsv 327774 GRCh37.nr_duplications.tsv 336949
GRCh38.nr_insertions.tsv 1107124 GRCh37.nr_insertions.tsv 1101458
total: 3645790 total: 3660063

NR SV Files

  • The "NR SVs" are in ASCII text files with tab-separated values on the FTP site.
  • CNV analysis: users must consider both duplications and deletions files for comprehensive CNV analysis.

Deletion NR SV Files:

  • GRCh38.nr_deletions.tsv.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_deletions.tsv.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_deletions.acmg_genes.tsv.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_deletions.acmg_genes.tsv.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_deletions.bed.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_deletions.bedpe.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_deletions.bed.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_deletions.bedpe.gz


Insertion NR SV Files:

  • GRCh38.nr_insertions.tsv.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_insertions.tsv.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_deletions.acmg_genes.tsv.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_deletions.acmg_genes.tsv.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_insertions.bed.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_insertions.bed.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_insertions.bedpe.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_insertions.bedpe.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_insertions.bedpe.gz


Duplication NR SV Files:

  • GRCh38.nr_duplications.tsv.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_duplications.tsv.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_duplications.acmg_genes.tsv.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_duplications.acmg_genes.tsv.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_duplications.bed.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_duplications.bed.gz
  • GRCh38.nr_duplications.bedpe.gz
  • GRCh37.nr_duplications.bedpe.gz


Fields in NR Records are tab-separated:

Column NR SV TSV File BED File BEDPE File
1 chr chr chr
2 outermost_start (1-based) outermost_start (0-based) outermost_start (0-based)
3 outermost_stop (1-based) outermost_stop (1-based) outermost_stop (1-based)
4 variant_count NR_SV_id .  (chrom2)
5 variant_type   -1  (start2)
6 method   -1  (end2)
7 analysis   NR_SV_id
8 platform   .  (score)
9 study   .  (strand1)
10 variant   .  (stramd2)
11 clinical_assertion   variant_count
12 clinvar_accession   variant_type
13 bin_size   method
14 min_insertion_length*   analysis
15 max_insertion_length*   platform
16     study
17     variant
18     clinical_assertion
19     clinvar_accession
20     bin_size
21     min_insertion_length
22     max_insertion_length

Please note:

  • * = NR_SV TSV fields 14 and 15 are in nr_insertion.tsv files only
  • NR_SV_id = chr_outermost_start_outermost_stop_type where type is del, dup, or ins
  • bin_size = small (length < 50 bp), medium (< 1000000), large (>= 1000000). Length = outermost_stop - outermost_start + 1.
  • In all cases, bedpe columns 4 through 6, and 8 through 10, are populated with default values per the bedpe specification
  • The bed and bedpe specifications are found here: https://bedtools.readthedocs.io/en/latest/content/general-usage.html

Some fields may have multiple values:

  • The fields type, method, analysis, platform, variant, study, clinical_significance, clinvar_accession, and gene may contain multiple values.
  • Each of the values is associated with one or more calls found in the variant field.
  • The values in the variant field are "dbVar call accessions".

Records in the NR SV files:

Records in the deletions or duplications NR SV files, e.g.:

chr outermost_start outermost_stop variant_count variant_type method analysis platform study variant clincical_assertion clinvar_accession bin_size
15 98085101 101843270 1 copy_number_loss Oligo_aCGH Probe_signal_intensity Agilent ISCA 44K ClinGen_Laboratory-Submitted nssv14082018 Pathogenic SCV000586438

Records in the insertions NR SV files, e.g.:

chr outermost_start outermost_stop variant_count variant_type method analysis platform study variant clincical_assertion clinvar_accession bin_size min_insertion_length max_insertion_length
1 1889055 1889055 1 alu_insertion Sequencing Split_read_and_paired-end_mapping HiSeq 2000 Gardner2017 nssv14051747 small 258 258
  • only insertion SVs have minimum_insertion_length and maximum_insertion_length fields

Records in the NR SV .bed files, e.g.

chr outermost_start outermost_stop NR_SV_id
chr1 0 10000 chr1_0_10000_del
  • Placements in bed files are zero-based start and one-based stop
  • name is comprised of chromosome, outermost_start, outermost_stop, and type (del, dup, or ins)
  • NR SV .bed files may be used with a variety of tools as shown in the tutorial:


Records in the NR SV .bedpe files, e.g.

chr outermost_start outermost_stop chrom2 start2 end2 NR_SV_id score strand1 strand2 variant_count variant_type method analysis platform study variant clinical_assertion clinvar_accession
chr1 14873 7527302 . -1 -1 chr1_14873_7527302_del . . . 1 copy_number_loss Oligo_aCGH Probe_signal_intensity NA ClinGen_Laboratory-Submitted nssv13638713 Pathogenic SCV000495999
  • Placements in bedpe files are zero-based start and one-based stop
  • bedpe files are normally used for disjointed genomic sequences
  • the NR bedpe files do not contain disjointed genomic sequences, and instead use default values for chrom2, start2 and end2
  • the NR bedpe files use the optional fields starting at field 11 to hold: chr, outermost_start, outermost_stop, name, and all the additional fields which are in the NR SV files

ACMG files as "proof of principle" for a "use case"

Records in the NR SV ACMG files contain a field for the ACMG gene that overlaps the variant, e.g.:

chr outermost_start outermost_stop variant_count variant_type method analysis platform study variant clinical_significance clinvar_accession bin_size min_insertion_length max_insertion_length gene
3 30621876 30621876 2 alu_insertion Merging;Sequencing Merging;Split_read_and_paired-end_mapping See merged experiments;HiSeq 2000 1000_Genomes_Consortium_Phase_3_SV_Submission;Gardner2017 essv18243203;nssv14059593 small 279 280 TGFBR2

Caveats for the ACMG files:

  • ACMG files are provided as a "proof of principle" for a "use case" for the NR SV files.
  • ACMG files are based on region/gene overlaps, and are missing a few call/gene overlaps in the cases where the parent variant region does not include all of the variant call placement and the region does not overlap the gene or is upstream or downstream of the gene.
  • Placements in the ACMG files do not account for confidence intervals, even though the overlaps reported in the file were determined using confidence intervals. This results in a few of the overlaps that are not supported by the placements as reported in the file.

For information on ACMG genes please see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/clinvar/docs/acmg/

Methods and Analyses

example values

Methods include, e.g. Analyses include, e.g.
BAC_aCGH Curated
Curated Genotyping
MLPA Local_sequence_assembly
Merging Merging
Multiple Multiple
Not_provided Not_provided
Oligo_aCGH Optical_mapping
Optical_mapping Other
ROMA Paired-end_mapping
SNP_array Probe_signal_intensity
Sequencing Read_depth
qPCR SNP_genotyping_analysis
ROMA Sequence_alignment
SNP_array Split_read_mapping
Sequencing de_novo_sequence_assembly

README files for deletions, insertions, and duplications

Please see README files for deletions, insertions, and duplications for example records and additional details.

Brief Outline of algorithm used to generate NR-SVs.

The algorithm makes use of previously existing scripts.

Input files are generated from the dbVar database with tab separated values and contain SVs by assembly, type, and other relevant fields.

Selected type files are grouped into "aggregated type files" as specified above, by chr.

The "aggregated type files" are converted into XML records containing all the neccessary fields required by the nr process.

The XML is then parsed to generate SV records with coordinates, type, method, analysis, platform, insertion_length, SV accession and study.

The SV records are then processed to generate NR SV tab-separated value (tsv) files by assembly and type, as described above, e.g.

  • GRCh38.nr_deletions.tsv.gz


Examples of using the NR files with various tools and browsers can be found in: https://github.com/ncbi/dbvar/blob/master/Structural_Variant_Sets/Nonredundant_Structural_Variants/ToolGuide.md

Questions or feedback


Thanks for your interest in the dbVar human "non-redundant structural variations" (NR SVs) data files from NCBI.

Please check back soon for further updates.