In comparative high-throughput sequencing assays, a fundamental task is the analysis of count data, such as read counts per gene in RNA-seq data, for evidence of systematic changes across experimental conditions. Small replicate numbers, discreteness, large dynamic range and the presence of outliers require a suitable statistical approach. We present DESeq2, a method for differential analysis of count data. DESeq2 uses shrinkage estimation for dispersions and fold changes to improve stability and interpretability of the estimates. This enables a more quantitative analysis focused on the strength rather than the mere presence of differential expression and facilitates downstream tasks such as gene ranking and visualization. DESeq2 is available as an R/Bioconductor package.
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