Nevin Manimala Statistics

Clustering single-cell multi-omics data with MoClust

Bioinformatics. 2022 Nov 16:btac736. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btac736. Online ahead of print.


MOTIVATION: Single-cell multi-omics sequencing techniques have rapidly developed in the past few years. Clustering analysis with single-cell multi-omics data may give us novel perspectives to dissect cellular heterogeneity. However, multi-omics data have the properties of inherited large dimension, high sparsity and existence of doublets. Moreover, representations of different omics from even the same cell follow diverse distributions. Without proper distribution alignment techniques, clustering methods will encounter less separable clusters easily affected by less informative omics data.

RESULTS: We developed MoClust, a novel joint clustering framework that can be applied to several types of single-cell multi-omics data. A selective automatic doublet detection module that can identify and filter out doublets is introduced in the pretraining stage to improve data quality. Omics-specific autoencoders are introduced to characterize the multi-omics data. A contrastive learning way of distribution alignment is adopted to adaptively fuse omics representations into an omics-invariant representation. This novel way of alignment boosts the compactness and separableness of clusters, while accurately weighting the contribution of each omics to the clustering object. Extensive experiments, over both simulated and real multi-omics datasets, demonstrated the powerful alignment, doublet detection and clustering ability features of MoClust.

AVAILABILITY: An implementation of MoClust is available from

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

PMID:36383167 | DOI:10.1093/bioinformatics/btac736

By Nevin Manimala

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