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Pure-python implementation of UCSC ``liftOver`` genome coordinate conversion.

Project description

PyLiftover is a library for quick and easy conversion of genomic (point) coordinates between different assemblies.

It uses the same logic and coordinate conversion mappings as the UCSC liftOver tool.

As of current version (0.2), PyLiftover only does conversion of point coordinates, that is, unlike liftOver, it does not convert ranges, nor does it provide any special facilities to work with BED files. For single-point coordinates it produces exactly the same output as liftOver (verified with at least the hg17ToHg18.over.chain.gz file for now).


The simplest way to install the package is via easy_install or pip:

$ easy_install pyliftover


The primary usage example, supported by the library is the following:

from pyliftover import LiftOver
lo = LiftOver('hg17', 'hg18')
lo.convert_coordinate('chr1', 1000000)

The first line will automatically download the hg17-to-hg18 coordinate conversion chain file from UCSC, unless it is already cached or available in the current directory. Alternatively, you may provide your own chain file:

lo = LiftOver('hg17ToHg18.over.chain.gz')
lo.convert_coordinate('chr1', 1000000, '-')

The result of lo.convert_coordinate call is either None (if the source chromosome name is unrecognized) or a list of target positions in the new assembly. The list may be empty (locus is deleted in the new assembly), have a single element (locus matched uniquely), or, in principle, have multiple elements (although this is probably a rare occasion for most default intra-species genomic conversions). Note that coordinates in the tool are 0-based. That is, a position that you would refer to in the genome browser by chr1:10 corresponds to coordinate 9 in PyLiftover’s terms.

Although you may try to apply the tool with arbitrary chain files, like the original liftOver tool, it makes most sense for conversion of coordinates between different assemblies of the same species.

See also

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