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Make configuration files portable with refgenie populate

Use refgenie populate to replace registry paths (e.g. refgenie://hg38/fasta) in text files with asset file paths (e.g. /home/johndoe/genomes/hg38/fasta/default/hg38.fa). For use in an ephemeral compute environment, the remote version, refgenie populatr, will replace your registry path with a URI, like s3://path/to/ or http://path/to/ This powerful feature allows you to write configuration files and scripts with maximum portability for anything you might need to configure with reference genome paths.


Sometimes it is desirable to run a refgenie-unaware workflow and benefit from the refgenie framework. In such cases, we need a pre-processing step to populate some kind of input configuration file for a workflow run. This way, all refgenie awareness is kept outside the workflow, but you can still benefit from managing your reference resources using refgenie. For instance, this is the way Common Workflow Language (CWL) works; CWL workflows in best practices require knowledge of all input files before the workflow run begins. So, rather than passing a registry path, which is then resolved by refgenie inside the workflow, it makes more sense to use refgenie to pre-populate the CWL input file with the correct paths.

Usage examples

Both populate and populater can populate refgenie registry paths either in a file or a string.

String input

Use a pipe (|) to populate an in-line command argument with a local path managed by refgenie:

echo 'bowtie2 -x refgenie://hg38/bowtie2_index -U r1.fq -S eg1.sam' | refgenie populate | sh

File input

Example input in test/config_template.yaml:

  param1: value1
  fasta: "refgenie://hg38/fasta"
  bowtie2_index: "refgenie://hg38/bowtie2_index"

To populate a bowtie2 index and FASTA file paths in a YAML configuration file of an arbitrary pipeline call:

refgenie populate --file test/config_template.yaml > test/config.yaml

Example output in test/config.yaml:

  param1: value1
  fasta: /home/johndoe/genomes/hg38/fasta/default/hg38.fa
  bowtie2_index: /home/johndoe/genomes/hg38/bowtie2_index/default/hg38

Using the refgenie_looper_populate plugin

If you're interested in using refgenie in conjunction with looper, we have a convenient looper plugin to provide refgenie populate capability. Enable the plugin by adding this to your looper pipeline interface file:

  refgenie_config: "$REFGENIE"
  - refgenconf.looper_refgenie_populate

Now, just add sample attributes in your sample take with refgenie registry paths, like refgenie://hg38/fasta. You can add these either as sample attributes directly in the sample table, or using a derived attribute. Looper will automatically use refgenie to pre-populate the registry paths into correct local paths before submitting the jobs.