Reducing BAMs to minimize file sizes and improve calling performanceReduceReads is a novel (perhaps even breakthrough?) GATK2 data compression algorithm. The purpose of ReducedReads is to take a BAM file with NGS data and reduce it down to just the information necessary to make accurate SNP and indel calls, as well as genotype reference sites (hard to achieve) using GATK tools like UnifiedGenotyper or HaplotypeCaller. ReduceReads accepts as an input a BAM file and produces a valid BAM file (it works in IGV!) but with a few extra tags that the GATK can use to make accurate calls.
You can find more information about reduced reads in some of our presentations in the archive.
ReduceReads works well for exomes or high-coverage (at least 20x average coverage) whole genome BAM files. In this case we highly recommend using ReduceReads to minimize the file sizes. Note that ReduceReads performs a lossy compression of the sequencing data that works well with the downstream GATK tools, but may not be supported by external tools. Also, we recommend that you archive your original BAM file, or at least a copy of your original FASTQs, as ReduceReads is highly lossy and doesn't quality as an archive data compression format.
Using ReduceReads on your BAM files will cut down the sizes to approximately 1/100 of their original sizes, allowing the GATK to process tens of thousands of samples simultaneously without excessive IO and processing burdens. Even for single samples ReduceReads cuts the memory requirements, IO burden, and CPU costs of downstream tools significantly (10x or more) and so we recommend you preprocess analysis-ready BAM files with ReducedReads.
for each sample sample.reduced.bam <- ReduceReads(sample.bam)