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PinAPL-Py: A comprehensive web-application for the analysis of CRISPR/Cas9 screens


Large-scale genetic screens using CRISPR/Cas9 technology have emerged as a major tool for functional genomics. With its increased popularity, experimental biologists frequently acquire large sequencing datasets for which they often do not have an easy analysis option. While a few bioinformatic tools have been developed for this purpose, their utility is still hindered either due to limited functionality or the requirement of bioinformatic expertise. To make sequencing data analysis of CRISPR/Cas9 screens more accessible to a wide range of scientists, we developed a Platform-independent Analysis of Pooled Screens using Python (PinAPL-Py), which is operated as an intuitive web-service. PinAPL-Py implements state-of-the-art tools and statistical models, assembled in a comprehensive workflow covering sequence quality control, automated sgRNA sequence extraction, alignment, sgRNA enrichment/depletion analysis and gene ranking. The workflow is set up to use a variety of popular sgRNA libraries as well as custom libraries that can be easily uploaded. Various analysis options are offered, suitable to analyze a large variety of CRISPR/Cas9 screening experiments. Analysis output includes ranked lists of sgRNAs and genes, and publication-ready plots. PinAPL-Py helps to advance genome-wide screening efforts by combining comprehensive functionality with user-friendly implementation. PinAPL-Py is freely accessible at with instructions and test datasets.

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